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Where are housing rents rising and why?

Global Mobility teams tend to field many queries from mobile workers about accommodation budgets. Housing is an emotive subject; accommodation in the host location is home away from home, and is all the more important when a whole family has relocated. This is why it’s so important to have multi-source, rigorous data as well as support and insights from ECA’s account managers and subject matter experts.

We research long-term rental levels in more than 400 locations every year to ensure our clients have the latest data to hand when setting rental budgets, updating housing allowances, or defining housing provision.

Rental cost updates are published annually in either early June or early December, with locations broadly split along regional lines. Our June publication focuses on Western Europe, North America and Australia and New Zealand. In volatile rental markets, we research again every six months until the market stabilises.

Our accommodation survey analysis is well underway, and the final results of the March 2024 survey will be published in full next month. However, we are already in a position to share a preview of the headline trends for four key locations for cross-border moves.


Assignees in various cities in Brazil are facing significant rent increases amid high levels of demand from other expatriates as well as high-earning local nationals as the national economy stabilises. With strong competition for properties, landlords are raising rents to follow suit. Higher mortgage interest rates are having a compounding effect, with property owners seeking greater returns to offset higher mortgage payments.

Spiking rents are not restricted to any one city, with Brasilia (+16% between 2023 and 2024), Sao Paulo (+10%) and Rio de Janeiro (+5%) all seeing rising accommodation costs. Substantial rent increases are being seen in Belo Horizonte (+16%) too, where digital nomads are becoming increasingly attracted to the city’s favourable climate.


Earlier this year we looked ahead to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games and the dynamics that were likely to affect the Paris rental market. Our March 2024 survey has seen those dynamics borne out, with rents in popular expatriate districts of Paris currently 7% higher than our previous survey in March 2023. Landlords are removing properties from the long-term rental market to achieve greater income from short-term lets during the Olympics and Paralympics. Assignees are therefore facing less choice and higher rents for the properties that are available. Other cities in France are also seeing above-average rent increases, with rents up 6% in Lyon and Marseilles.

South Africa

ECA’s accommodation surveys are annual except for cities with volatile rental markets where rents are reviewed every six months. Such volatility has been seen in most cities in South Africa in the past 18 months and the country has been receiving interim reviews recently. Cape Town continues to be the frontrunner in terms of rent increases, with 9% growth between our September 2023 and March 2024 surveys, owing to high competition for properties with reliable infrastructure as the country grapples with power outages and a depreciating rand. The low value of the rand has made Cape Town increasingly popular with digital nomads, adding to difficulties for local renters.

United States

After two years of almost countrywide rent increases, a different picture is emerging in many US cities as cost of living increases put a limit on the amount renters can afford for accommodation.

New York (+7% between 2023 and 2024) continues to post high rent increases as demand shows no signs of waning. However, many cities are seeing static or falling rents. The exodus of a number of tech jobs from the Bay Area, and concerns over crime levels, are causing rent falls in San Francisco (-1%). Elsewhere, rents are also decreasing in Atlanta, a city which saw dramatic rent increases post-Covid.


As ever, if you have any questions about rent increases in your assignment locations or ECA's accommodation data, do reach out to your account manager or drop us an email. If you would like help designing or benchmarking your housing policy, request a callback at a time convenient for you from our Consultancy & Advisory team to discuss your requirements.

  Please contact us to speak to a member of our team directly.

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