The Cities of Opportunity survey conducted by accountancy firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) named Tokyo as the most expensive in 27 global cities, followed by Sydney.
The listing, released on Sunday, was based on several factors such as quality of life, economic factors, technology and cost of doing business.
However, the Australian city was ranked 11th overall, although it was number one for sustainability. In terms of demographics and livability, Sydney also came in second to Paris and was listed third for health, safety and security next to Stockholm and Chicago.
In the areas of transport and infrastructure, it ranked fourth, followed by Los Angeles, Sao Paulo and Johannesburg.
Scott Lennon, the president of the Sydney Business Chamber and PwC partner, said the escalating cost in Sydney was of concern since it is even more expensive compared to larger cities such as New York, London and Hong Kong in several areas, including taxes, business occupancy costs, rental expenses and Internet.
"This erodes our comparative advantage, making Sydney less attractive to global investors and a more difficult place to live for its inhabitants," Nine News quoted Mr Lennon.
While Sydney was way ahead in expenses, it was held back by gridlock and lack of new housing.
As a financial hub, New York still topped the list, followed by London, Toronto and Paris. The British city's economic clout, ease of doing business, innovation and attraction gateway was enough to offset the country's weak economy and job losses.
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