London City
London CityReuters

London has been ranked as the most expensive city in the world to live and work in, followed by Hong Kong.

According to the latest survey by real estate agent Savills, London is twice as expensive as Sydney, and is four times costlier than Brazil's capital Rio de Janerio.

Savills' top 12 most expensive cities to live and work in are London, Hong Kong, New York, Paris, Tokyo, Singapore, Moscow, Sydney, Dubai, Shanghai, Rio de Janeiro and Mumbai.

London was ranked fifth in 2008 but it has now topped the list due to surging property prices, and strengthening currency against US dollar. Annual cost for an employee in London was put at $120,568, whereas that of Hong Kong was $4851 less than London at $115, 717.

Mumbai was the least expensive among the 12 mentioned cities. The annual cost for an employee in Mumbai was estimated to be around $29,742.

Tokyo's rank has slipped from third to fifth, due to the decline in cost of rents since 2008. Besides, the economic strategies deployed by Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have improved economic growth.  The annual cost for an employee in Tokyo was recorded at $76,211, which is less expensive than London, Hong Kong, New York and Paris.

Savills has computed live-work index measures of renting homes and office spaces per employee in the 12 major cities across the world.

The survey by Savills is done to help firms to restructure the costs of shifting employees. The total cost for every employee is measured in terms of dollar of living and working areas in the 12 selected cities across the globe.

"This lower level of price growth means that currency fluctuations have produced some of the biggest changes in our rankings, which are expressed in dollar terms. For multinationals looking at their local costs, it is this which is likely to exercise them more than property markets over the next year," the Savills report stated.