Industry Relocation Trends – U.S. Domestic Homesale Incentives

Relocation Fast Fast Logo Web Industry Relocation Trends – U.S. Domestic Homesale IncentivesHomesale incentives are typically, any payment of monies and/or valuable consideration or services performed to encourage the sale of a specific property. Some examples of homesale incentives include: cash incentives or bonuses to transferring employees who are able to locate a potential buyer for their home, or a repair and improvement allowances (to be used for refurbishment, staging or general cleanup).

Today, companies are choosing to offer homesale incentives on an as needed basis or include a provision in their policy documents. This is offered in an effort to encourage a sale of the employee’s home through a homesale program (Amended Value or Buyer Value Option, for example) and to reduce homes being taken into inventory by the company.

Two common homesale incentive methods are to offer a percentage of the company or outside buyer’s offer with a dollar maximum ($10,000 for example) and another method is to offer a percentage of the home’s sale price without a dollar maximum. For both methods, the average percentage offered is 2%.

Statistics:

  • 69% of employers with third-party or corporate-based homesale programs offer cash incentives to employees who find a buyer for their home during the self-marketing period
  • 38% of companies that offer a bonus/cash homesale incentive offer a percent of the company or outside buyer offer with a dollar maximum
  • 19% of companies that offer a bonus/cash homesale incentive offer a percent of the home’s sale price with no dollar maximum

Above data collected from Worldwide ERC®’s Relocation Assistance: U.S. Domestic Transferred Employees 2013 survey, Worldwide ERC®’s Mobility articles and a sample of companies with U.S. domestic programs and is therefore not representative of all companies relocating employees. Industry Relocation Trends topic information intended for high level overview. For more detailed information, please contact your Paragon representative.

Social Media Playing a Larger Role in Global Job Searches

social media Social Media Playing a Larger Role in Global Job SearchesMore and more often, job seekers are turning to social media to search for global career opportunities. According to the Kelly Global Workforce Index, an annual survey from workforce solutions firm Kelly Services, employees are increasingly using social media to network and find potential job opportunities.

Roughly 21,000 people were surveyed from a variety of countries across the Americas, including the United States, Canada, Mexico and Brazil. Here are the primary results of the report:

Two in five respondents, or about 41 percent, said they were contacted about an employment position through social media during the last year.

Fourteen percent of those surveyed said they actually secured a job through social media during the last year.

Thirty-nine percent are now more inclined to search for jobs through social media than other more traditional methods, such as newspaper ads and online job boards.

How this impacts employers
Because an increasing number of job seekers are utilizing social media, employers hoping to capture the attention of the most candidates should take advantage of this form of communication. Fortunately, social media can be a great way for companies to make sure a candidate is the right fit. It allows them to connect with job seekers on a closer level and also utilize resources such as online surveys. Ideally, this will help prevent a candidate from getting three months into the job and realizing it isn’t the right fit.

“Social media is rapidly revolutionizing the recruitment process because it broadens the access to an enormous pool of candidates,” said Michael Webster, executive vice president of the Americas region for Kelly Services. “We are also seeing the impact access to ‘smart’ technology has on retention, as the work and personal lives of today’s employees is more commonly blended together. Suddenly employees have the flexibility to engage socially or accomplish work tasks at any given time.”

The Kelly Global Workforce Index found that personal technology plays a significant role in the workplace for many job seekers. More than one-third (35 percent) said the use of personal devices such as smartphones and laptops at work is either “important” or “very important.”

“Employees are more social and more flexible in the way they engage with trusted friends and work colleagues on social media, and, increasingly, they expect to have access to technology in the workplace to enable that,” Webster added.

Results by region
Brazil stood out among the other countries in the Kelly Global Workforce Index results. According to the report, social media and employment are heavily interconnected in the South American nation. In fact, about three-quarters (74 percent) of respondents from Brazil said they were contacted on social media about an employment opportunity during the last year. Furthermore, 44 percent of those surveyed in Brazil reported that they secured a job through social media in the last year. In comparison, this number was only 25 percent in Mexico, 14 percent in Canada and 11 percent in the United States.

Mexico ranked second with regard to people being contacted about jobs via social media. According to the survey, about half (48 percent) of those surveyed in Mexico were contacted, compared to 39 percent in both Canada and the United States.

Kelly Services also found that these results were not skewed heavily to a particular generation, even though one might expect Generation Y to be the most active on social media. For example, of those who secured a job through social media in the last year, 18 percent were Generation Y, 14 percent were Generation X and 12 percent were baby boomers. In this way, the results were not very disparate between age groups.

How Do Mortgage Regulations Impact Home Purchase Benefits?

GEM SteveCrispin blue bkgrn 252x300 How Do Mortgage Regulations Impact Home Purchase Benefits?A Guest Blog Post from Stephen Crispin, CRP
Vice President, GenEquity Mortgage

Overview

It is widely agreed upon by economists that home loan interest rates are going to rise. What is not agreed upon, however, is when rates will rise and to what level. To be clear, there are signs currently that rates are on the increase as evidenced by an increase on the average 30 year fixed rate from a low of 3.29% in November of 2012 to a rate of 3.70% in early March, 2013 (according to Mortgage News Daily). While rates are still well below the 52 week high of 4.09%, recent reports of economic strength suggest that rates are on the way higher. Near term, the impacts of this are not expected to be significant. However, longer term, assuming rates continue to rise, the impacts will be felt more severely by relocating employees and their families.

What does this mean?

Home Selling – By virtually all measurements, the U.S. residential housing markets look to be improving. Home values are increasing, albeit from depressed levels, and list to sale times are decreasing. This has been fueled by the previously referenced low interest rate environment and economic strength. However, as rates continue to rise, one of the pillars of strength driving the housing markets will be slowly removed. This may result in a lengthening of marketing times for your employees as they try to sell their homes.

Home Purchase – For the past several years, relocating homeowners have been the beneficiaries of ever lowering interest rates. Consider the transferring employee who was moved in March of 2007 was able to secure a loan with a 6.25% interest rate. That same employee, being moved three years later, was able to secure a rate at roughly 5%. A subsequent move in March of 2013 would allow that same employee to receive a rate of roughly 3.75%. Most of the relocating homeowners over the past 10-15 years have enjoyed this rate differential. But, as previously noted, this trend is likely to reverse, making homeowners reluctant to accept assignments. To entice homeowners to accept moves in this environment, employers may need to offer incentives to these homeowners.

The incentives need to be carefully considered to not only achieve the desired benefit, but to be fully compliant with the ever changing regulations emanating from Washington, D.C. Dodd-Frank legislation has, among other things, created the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB is in the process of enacting a number of new regulations which impact the mortgage markets. The regulation that is most impactful to employee benefits is the Qualified Mortgage (QM) rule. It is widely acknowledged that the vast majority of loans made will need to be compliant with QM. This rule states that in order for a loan to qualify as QM the total fees charged to the borrower cannot be in excess of 3% of the loan amount. This applies whether or not the fees are reimbursed by the consumer’s employer. With that in mind, let’s review some possibilities for incenting employees to move:

  • Reimbursement for Discount Points – A discount point (a one-time fee of 1% of the mortgage amount) paid by the employer will allow a reduction in interest rate from as low as one-eighth (1/8%) of a percent to three-eighths (3/8%) of a percent, depending on the specific factors of a loan, for the life of the loan. This will help mitigate the mortgage interest differential. Caution is needed, however, when offering discount points due to the QM rules 3% fee cap. Since governmental fees (recording fees, transfer fees, etc.), closing costs (Attorney, Lender’s Title Insurance, and closing/escrow fees, etc.) can make up 1-2% of the loan amount, the Discount Point benefit will likely need to be limited to 1% so that the employee’s loan still qualifies as a QM loan.
  • Buydown – A buydown is when a lump sum is paid up front to temporarily reduce a borrower’s interest rate for set period of time. Examples of this are a “2-1-0” or “3-2-1” buydown. A tangible example is as follows: A borrower who has secured a 5% interest rate and a 2-1-0 buydown. The amount of the first 12 payments will be as if the interest rate was 3%. The amount of the subsequent 12 payments will be as if the interest rate is 4%, and all ensuing payments will be at the note rate of 5%. The CFPB has not specifically addressed this per se, but there is no basis for excluding these from the 3% cap rule. Due to the high cost associated with a buydown, this benefit would in the vast majority of instances result in exceeding the 3% cap thereby resulting in the loan no longer qualifying as a QM loan.
  • Mortgage Subsidy – Employers have the option of designating a set amount, generally expressed as a percentage of the loan amount, as a mortgage subsidy to reduce an employee’s monthly payment. Example, a 2%, 3 year subsidy would result in an employer paying 2% of a loan amount. This amount would be used to offset the employee’s mortgage costs for 3 years. In the instance of a $250,000 loan, the cost to the employer would be $7,500. The employee would then receive $208.33/month for the first 36 months of the mortgage to offset their costs.

The bottom line is that the next few years are likely to bring about substantial changes in the mortgage market and those changes have far reaching effects on corporate relocation.

Message from Paragon CEO Joseph Morabito

image Message from Paragon CEO Joseph MorabitoIn our never ending process of improvement, Paragon is exploring using video technology to allow our Relocation, Immigration and Mortgage Consultants, Account Managers and Sales team to better communicate with our customers, clients and prospects using both telephone and visual technology to better display information. While we already have video capability to connect our offices for conference calls, this desktop concept, perhaps a first for the relocation industry, will forever change the way we do business. The goal is to enhance the ability to build relationships by turning an often distant call into a face-to-face interaction. In a people-to-people business, the more we can develop our relationships, the more successful we will be in providing complex relocation services. This is an exciting development for Paragon as well as for our clients and customers.

At the same time, we are moving to expand our mortgage business, perhaps through a series of acquisitions in addition to organic growth, to increase GenEquity Mortgage’s presence in the marketplace. Our current emphasis on corporate mortgages in the relocation space is being expanded to include retail mortgages and will grow dramatically in the next five years. This will include licensing in additional states to expand from our current 16 states to 35 or more as we see business opportunities. In addition, we are rolling out the PGR Home Caregivers real estate services to support Senior adults, allowing them to stay in their homes as long as possible. These services include property management, reverse mortgage, dealing with household goods to prepare for a move, if necessary, and home marketing assistance to sell the current home if and when it is time to go into assisted living. In 2014, we will expand this subsidiary to include actual personal home care services to reflect the needs of the 78 million Baby Boomers that are retiring in the United States at the rate of 10,000 a day.

On the international front, we continue to explore better ways of doing business. We are currently supporting expatriates in more than 70 countries, though our reach extends to more than 150 countries through our company locations and affiliates. In doing so, we are implementing money transfers to provide expatriates their benefit reimbursements and supplier payments around the world and often in multiple currencies. This is no easy task; but, we do it efficiently and with few errors thanks to the audit processes we have in place to ensure accuracy.

Standing still is the equivalent of going backward. One thing is for sure – no matter what external challenges we face, Paragon never stands still. We are always focused on the future, process improvement and moving forward. Change is inevitable. Making change happen is a Paragon trademark.

image Message from Paragon CEO Joseph Morabito

The Economy and Your Relocation Policy: Are Changes Coming?

Craig Selders, President of Paragon RelocationA Guest Blog Post from
Craig Selders, SGMS, SCRP
President, Paragon Relocation

So what is the current state of the economy and the real estate market?  And how does this affect relocation policy?
The U.S. economy has taken quite the beating over the last few years and, by some accounts, now seems to be improving. This improvement can have a positive effect on the willingness or desire of corporate employees to relocate for the benefit of the company.

U.S. economic indicators are encouraging, but we are by no means out of the recession.  Fourth quarter 2012 annual GDP growth rate was actually not a growth rate—it was -0.1%.  This is the first shrinkage in the GDP rate in three years.  Economists believe this is mainly due to a decrease in military spending, which was down 22%, representing the biggest drop since 1972.  The full year GDP growth rate in 2012 was 2.2%, compared with 1.8% in 2011.  A “normal” GDP growth rate is 3% or greater.  Although private industry added 1.2 million jobs in 2012, the unemployment rate is still too high at 7.6%. Additionally, a large number of the unemployed have taken themselves out of the market, so actual unemployment is higher.

But is the economy poised for growth?  In many respects, it depends on the consumer. The consumer spend is approximately 70% of GDP, so if consumer spending decreases, then the overall economy will feel the pain.  The good news is that consumer spending did increase in Q4 2012 by 2.2%, and since interest rates are low, spending and borrowing have increased. Sales of new and existing homes are up; as are automobile sales.  Borrowing is up, which means people have more discretionary income, feel better about the economy and their jobs, and are willing to take on new debt.  So signs are encouraging that the consumer is spending, which drives the economy.  The bad news is that the payroll tax has increased by 2%, which means disposable income is down.  This could translate into less spending, which so far in 2013, we have not seen.

To put things into perspective, from 1950-1999, average GDP growth rates were 3.6%, and unemployment averaged 5.7% during this period.  From 2000–present, GDP has averaged less than 2%, and unemployment 6.3%.  What does this mean? Simply that post World War II development and spending does not continue forever, and we now see less advancement in GDP growth rates, even though we see some efficiencies and advancements in society such as robotics and technology…but not enough to fuel solid growth.  We also see excessive government debt and a fragile banking system, all of which can have macroeconomic impact on the economy.

So how does this translate into the real estate market, which is so critical to the potential relocation of company employees?  In this area of the economy, there is finally some good news. After being in the doldrums the past three years, we are beginning to see the fruits of improved real estate markets:

  • According to the S&P Case Shiller report for January, 2013, for the 20 composite cities across the U.S., the average appreciation gain was 8.1% over the past 12 months.
  • According to the National Association of Realtors, the average home price in the U.S. in 2012 of $173,600 was up 12.3% from 2011.
  • At the end of December, there were 1.74 million homes for sale in the U.S., the lowest since 1999.
  • New home sales in January, 2013, were 29% higher than January, 2012.
  • On average, homes are selling in 71 days vs. 99 days one year ago, per the Wall Street Journal.
  • And, distressed sales are down 35% compared to last year—a strong sign that foreclosures are clearing the market; however, distressed sales still represent 23% of the total market.

Some of the cities that were not doing very well are now doing exceedingly well. For example, Phoenix, which got hit very hard by recessionary factors and houses lost a great deal of value, had the highest year-over-year gain of 23.2%, for the 12-month period ending January, 2013.  Phoenix also had 540 “flash” sales in the past five months—or homes selling in 24 hours or less—which is higher than any other city in the country.  So we are seeing strong appreciation in some markets.  Others—such as Atlanta and Detroit—continue to improve but still lag in the market.  And yes, Las Vegas is coming back as well with a 12-month appreciation rate of 15.3%.    All 20 cities on the Case-Shiller report showed year-over-year gains—the first time this has happened in several years.

What does all this mean relative to employee mobility?
According the Worldwide ERC®’s 2012 U.S. Transfer Volume and Cost Survey, 91% of corporate respondents cited real estate issues as predominant reasons for resistance to transfer.  But this may change in the next survey.  As home values begin to return to more normal levels, equity positions will increase, and people can sell their homes more rapidly.  This means they will be more likely to relocate since they will be in a financial position to purchase a new home in the new location. It also means that some of the issues of the past may begin to wane—such as large loss on sale payments; longer duplicate housing payments;  less need for longer term temporary housing stays, etc.

But it also means there may be at time in the near future where it is back to the fundamentals of relocation policy.  The inability to move due to negative equity positions may be replaced with the more commonly known issues such as family resistance to moving; moving to higher cost locations; and spouse/partner reluctance to leave a job.  Addressing these important issues will be critical to solving near and longer term relocation challenges.

As can be seen, many macroeconomic factors in the U.S. economy are improving, which has led to an improvement in the U.S. real estate market.  Demand is strong for housing in many markets, and in some markets we are seeing multiple bid situations.  This means that real estate and housing in general will become less of an issue for transferees than over the past three or four years.  In times of change, it is advisable to update mobility polices to ensure contemporary issues are properly addressed—and corporations mitigate the reluctance to transfer.

Learning from Your Year-End Process

Learning from Your Year-end Process

A Guest Blog Post from Susan Myers, GMS
Director, Global Client Accounting

If your team is anything like ours, you’ve wrapped up your year-end deliverables and switched focus to tasks set aside over the last few months.  But before saying goodbye to another year-end, stop and invest some time in process improvements that will pay significant dividends a few months down the road.  Pull your mobility and payroll teams together to take a hard look at what’s behind the curtain.  If you’ve outsourced the disbursement and payroll function of your relocation and assignment management program, engage your vendors in this exercise as well.  Don’t forget to link your tax provider into this project to get the most out of the effort.

To start, it’s important to ask a few questions of all stakeholders to get the information and ideas flowing.  Some key questions should include:

  • How much time was wasted redoing work because teams found they didn’t fully understand the transaction data being passed?
  • What portion of the work required was completed through manual efforts?
  • Did you have what you needed at the time allocated to complete the task?
  • And most importantly, when you combined all data and efforts for tax preparation, how many W2cs will you produce?

What you find will likely surprise you.  And, the answers should give you a clear picture of areas that may need improvement.

If you are dealing with an international assignment population, establish a single coordination point for tracking and preparing all assignment related W2cs.  Make sure you understand why the W2c was required.  Categorize the reasons and attack the issues now.  We often hear payroll teams talk about 100+% W2c rates for their international population.  However, this situation can be avoided by simply identifying where the data is and who will be accountable for managing collection and reporting throughout the year.  Once this team member is identified, they should make sure the data is being reported correctly and any questions or issues are escalated in a timely manner.  If possible, make host country reporting a routine monthly process.

If analysis shows errors came from manual process breakdowns, investigate the possibility of automating the reporting and wage update.  Additionally, let your provider know when you don’t process the file exactly as provided.  The simplest of changes can make a big difference.  If you can’t automate, make sure teams are reconciling between all stakeholders throughout the year.  Since resources are at a premium, your relocation vendor should support the payroll reconciliation of interfaced data.  When examining the data, don’t just identify the differences, fix them.  And, encourage your payroll team to take the time to balance each quarter.  If done right, year-end will be simply another payroll pass.

Throughout the process, strong communication will be the key to your success.  And while communication is clearly a basic requirement in project management, it is not always easy when dealing with virtual teams across time zones, languages, and cultures.  To combat confusion, create a master project plan and calendar now.  Be detailed and stay connected to everyone accountable for a piece of the project throughout the year.  If you have outsourced, ask your vendor to take on this role.  You’ll find when all parties are communicating toward a common goal, issues are minimized.

Most importantly, committing time to review your year-end process now will mean less time and cost down the road.

Message from Paragon CEO Joseph Morabito

image Message from Paragon CEO Joseph MorabitoParagon uses the UCLA Anderson School of Business Economic Report each year as our benchmark for strategic planning purposes. UCLA is saying that there will be slow or little growth in the U.S. and Europe in 2013 along with continued high unemployment. Interest rates will remain low in the U.S., though economic stimulus from lower interest rates does not seem to be driving much economic activity. The only glimmer of light in this report is that real estate home prices in the U.S. have stabilized and appear to be going up a bit. In addition, there are headwinds coming out of Washington D.C. related to new taxes, regulations and health care that are causing a lot of uncertainty, so that many businesses sitting on a lot of cash have adopted a “wait and see” attitude rather than moving into new investment.

So, at best, we can only be cautiously optimistic about 2013. Even so, we are proceeding with our strategic plan to expand around the world, just recently adding expansion in China and Singapore to our list of office locations. Further, we are now implementing Destination Services in Germany, rather than using an affiliate, as is the case in many other countries. Based on work in progress, we should be able to make other country expansion announcements in 2013 as we extend our reach around the world.

Specific to our mortgage subsidiary, GenEquity Mortgage, while we have provided corporate mortgages in the relocation arena for years, we have closed our first mortgages for the general public, on our way to becoming a large retail mortgage company in 2013. As we also continue to grow Paragon Relocation, Paragon GeoImmigration and Paragon Decision Resources, we are also rolling out PGR Home Caregivers in 2013 to provide services for older adults. We will be able to provide senior customers and their families with a single point of contact, a Paragon Care Coordinator, first to deal with various real estate-related and household goods management services; but eventually to provide home care services to allow seniors to remain in their homes as long as possible. This particular subsidiary will provide Paragon additional entry into the retail space to assist the general public with a variety of services.

The only thing that is certain in business is continuous change. There are many factors we cannot control. Yet, they can impact short and long term business goals. The good news is that Paragon is financially sound and that has always allowed us to weather any storm. And, we have the management talent and ability to move swiftly to deal with the internal and external issues we face to make certain that we always provide high quality global relocation and other services for our clients and customers. As we bring 2012 to a close, let me say thank you to our clients and customers, who are responsible for Paragon’s growth and development. In addition, I must thank our employees and supplier partners who work diligently to provide outstanding services for our clients and customers. They are the foundation of our company upon which everything else is built.

image Message from Paragon CEO Joseph Morabito

What countries have the most economic freedom?

economic freedom heat map relocation

The Heritage Foundation has recently published an interactive map rating the quality of economic freedom for countries around the world based on a number of factors. This map can help you make business decisions at-a-glance of what countries might offer the best opportunity for growth and expansion. In addition, understanding the business environment on the ground might help decide which countries would be the best to send employees to on assignment to maximize the value of the benefits offered.

To use the map click here: 2012 Economic Freedom Heat Map.

How to beat loneliness during the holidays while on assignment

Happy_Holidays_ relocation
Paragon’s Relocation News site recently published a great article on tips to help employees overcome loneliness while on an International Assignment during the holiday season.

These tips include:
1. Host holiday office parties
2. Post regional events
3. Provide airfare back home for the holidays

To read more of this great article click here: How global transferees can overcome loneliness during the holiday season

What are the most miserable places in the world?

Recently, the website for the magazine the economist published their misery index (below) for the most miserable countries on the planet. Many times we’ve posted on the best places to take a relocation to but perhaps you could use the index below to decide where not to move. Of course this index is a generalization but it might give you an idea about of these countries in general. How miserable is your country?

misery index relocation

Cost of Living Snapshots: Geneva, Switzerland

geneva switzerland cost of living relocation companyCost of living differences are a major issue when considering an international assignment. For an employee to have an equal standard of living in their new location companies will often provide additional compensation based on a formula of the differences in cost between the old and the new location called a “Cost-of-Living Differential”. Today to get a sense of the differences in cost between locations we are going to start a continue a series of posts called “Cost of Living Snapshots” to compare the cost of living in different locations around the world at a glance.

With today’s comparison we analyze Geneva, Switzerland, which is one of the largest cities in Switzerland behind Zurich and is one of Europe’s largest financial centers.

To gather the cost of living data we use, Expatistan.com. Expatistan.com is something we’ve written about in the past. It is a free web-based collaborative tool that lets users enter local prices to compare with other locations around the world.


What does it cost to live in Geneva, Switzerland?

Geneva vs. San Francisco: The overall cost of living in San Francisco, California is 31% less than Geneva, Switzerland. The cost of a pair of 501 Levi’s is 174% more in Geneva than in San Francisco, while cold medicine in Geneva is 44% more than what it costs in San Francisco. Check out the full costs comparison breakdown between Geneva vs. San Francisco.

Geneva vs. Shenzhen: The overall cost of living in Shenzhen, China is 129% less than Geneva, Switzerland. The cost of a 900 sq. ft. furnished apartment costs 232% more in Geneva than in Shenzhen, while a Volkswagen Golf is 20% less than what it costs in Shenzhen. Check out the full costs comparison breakdown between Geneva vs. Shenzhen.

Geneva vs. Moscow: The overall cost of living in Moscow, Russia is 57% less than Geneva, Switzerland. The cost of the daily menu in the downtown business district is 137% more in Geneva than in Moscow, while a 40″ flat screen TV is 5% less than what it costs in Moscow. Check out the full costs comparison breakdown between Geneva vs. Moscow.

Geneva vs. Hong Kong: The overall cost of living in Hong Kong is 11% less than Geneva, Switzerland. The cost of a combo meal at a fast food restaurant is 258% more in Geneva than in Hong Kong, while a liter of milk costs 37% less than what it costs in Hong Kong. Check out the full costs comparison breakdown between Geneva vs. Hong Kong.

Cost of Living Snapshot: Miami, Florida

miami florida relocation company cost of living 300x200 Cost of Living Snapshot: Miami, FloridaCost of living differences are a major issue when considering an international assignment. For an employee to have an equal standard of living in their new location companies will often provide additional compensation based on a formula of the differences in cost between the old and the new location called a “Cost-of-Living Differential”. Today to get a sense of the differences in cost between locations we are going to start a continue a series of posts called “Cost of Living Snapshots” to compare the cost of living in different locations around the world at a glance.

With today’s comparison we analyze Miami, Florida, which is known for beautiful beaches but is also known for being a gateway to Latin America.

To gather the cost of living data we use, Expatistan.com. Expatistan.com is something we’ve written about in the past. It is a free web-based collaborative tool that lets users enter local prices to compare with other locations around the world.


What does it cost to live in Miami, Florida?

Miami vs. San Francisco: The overall cost of living in San Francisco, California is 19% more than Miami, Florida. The cost of a pair of 501 Levi’s is 18% less in Miami than in San Francisco, while cold medicine in Miami is 1% less than what it costs in San Francisco. Check out the full costs comparison breakdown between Miami vs. San Francisco.

Miami vs. Shenzhen: The overall cost of living in Shenzhen, China is 41% less than Miami, Florida. The cost of a 900 sq. ft. furnished apartment costs 57% more in Miami than in Shenzhen, while a Volkswagen Golf is 40% less than what it costs in Shenzhen. Check out the full costs comparison breakdown between Miami vs. Shenzhen.

Miami vs. Moscow: The overall cost of living in Moscow, Russia is about the same as Miami, Florida. The cost of the daily menu in the downtown business district is 26% more in Miami than in Moscow, while a 40″ flat screen TV is 18% less than what it costs in Moscow. Check out the full costs comparison breakdown between Miami vs. Moscow.

Miami vs. Hong Kong: The overall cost of living in Hong Kong is 32% more than Miami, Florida. The cost of a combo meal at a fast food restaurant is 73% more in Miami than in Hong Kong, while a liter of milk costs 13% less than what it costs in Hong Kong. Check out the full costs comparison breakdown between Miami vs. Hong Kong.

Cost of Living Snapshots: Beijing, China

Beijing cost of living relocation companyCost of living differences are a major issue when considering an international assignment. For an employee to have an equal standard of living in their new location companies will often provide additional compensation based on a formula of the differences in cost between the old and the new location called a “Cost-of-Living Differential”. Today to get a sense of the differences in cost between locations we are going to start a continue a series of posts called “Cost of Living Snapshots” to compare the cost of living in different locations around the world at a glance.

With today’s comparison we analyze Beijing, China, which is the location of the country’s capital and the location of many expats working on assignment.

To gather the cost of living data we use, Expatistan.com. Expatistan.com is something we’ve written about in the past. It is a free web-based collaborative tool that lets users enter local prices to compare with other locations around the world.


What does it cost to live in Beijing, China?

Beijing vs. San Francisco: The overall cost of living in San Francisco, California is 40% more than in Beijing, China. The cost of a pair of 501 Levi’s is 106% more in Beijing than in San Francisco, while cold medicine in Beijing is 61% less than what it costs in San Francisco. Check out the full costs comparison breakdown between Beijing vs. San Francisco.

Beijing vs. Shenzhen: The overall cost of living in Shenzhen, China is 5% less than Beijing, China. The cost of a 900 sq. ft. furnished apartment costs 69% more in Beijing than in Shenzhen, while a Volkswagen Golf is 28% less than what it costs in Shenzhen. Check out the full costs comparison breakdown between Beijing vs. Shenzhen.

Beijing vs. Moscow: The overall cost of living in Moscow, Russia is 28% more than Beijing, China. The cost of the daily menu in the downtown business district is 4% more in Beijing than in Moscow, while a 40″ flat screen TV is 20% less than what it costs in Moscow. Check out the full costs comparison breakdown between Beijing vs. Moscow.

Beijing vs. Hong Kong: The overall cost of living in Hong Kong is 49% more than Beijing, China. The cost of a combo meal at a fast food restaurant is 9% more in Beijing than in Hong Kong, while a liter of milk costs 22% less than what it costs in Hong Kong. Check out the full costs comparison breakdown between Beijing vs. Hong Kong.

Cost of Living Snapshots: Los Angeles, California

los-angeles_ cost of living relocation companyCost of living differences are a major issue when considering an international assignment. For an employee to have an equal standard of living in their new location companies will often provide additional compensation based on a formula of the differences in cost between the old and the new location called a “Cost-of-Living Differential”. Today to get a sense of the differences in cost between locations we are going to start a continue a series of posts called “Cost of Living Snapshots” to compare the cost of living in different locations around the world at a glance.

With today’s comparison we analyze Los Angeles, California, which is one of the largest cities in the United States. Los Angeles has always been a center for culture and business because of its year round climate and location which leads to a high demand for housing.

To gather the cost of living data we use, Expatistan.com. Expatistan.com is something we’ve written about in the past. It is a free web-based collaborative tool that lets users enter local prices to compare with other locations around the world.


What does it cost to live in Los Angeles, California?

Los Angeles vs. San Francisco: The overall cost of living in San Francisco, California is 9% more than in Los Angeles, California. The cost of a pair of 501 Levi’s is 10% less in Los Angeles than in San Francisco, while cold medicine in Los Angeles is 8% less than what it costs in San Francisco. Check out the full costs comparison breakdown between Los Angeles vs. San Francisco.

Los Angeles vs. Shenzhen: The overall cost of living in Shenzhen, China is 60% less than Los Angeles, California. The cost of a 900 sq. ft. furnished apartment costs 100% more in Los Angeles than in Shenzhen, while a Volkswagen Golf is 38% less than what it costs in Shenzhen. Check out the full costs comparison breakdown between Los Angeles vs. Shenzhen.

Los Angeles vs. Moscow: The overall cost of living in Moscow, Russia is 10% less than Los Angeles, California. The cost of the daily menu in the downtown business district is 37% more in Los Angeles than in Moscow, while a 40″ flat screen TV is 23% less than what it costs in Moscow. Check out the full costs comparison breakdown between Los Angeles vs. Moscow.

Los Angeles vs. Hong Kong: The overall cost of living in Hong Kong is 23% more than Los Angeles, California. The cost of a combo meal at a fast food restaurant is 62% more in Los Angeles than in Hong Kong, while a liter of milk costs 3% less than what it costs in Hong Kong. Check out the full costs comparison breakdown between Los Angeles vs. Hong Kong.

Cost of Living Snapshots: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

rio_de_janeiro_brazil cost of living relocation companyCost of living differences are a major issue when considering an international assignment. For an employee to have an equal standard of living in their new location companies will often provide additional compensation based on a formula of the differences in cost between the old and the new location called a “Cost-of-Living Differential”. Today to get a sense of the differences in cost between locations we are going to start a continue a series of posts called “Cost of Living Snapshots” to compare the cost of living in different locations around the world at a glance.

With today’s comparison we analyze Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which is one of Brazil’s largest cities and home to the 2016 summer olympic games.

To gather the cost of living data we use, Expatistan.com. Expatistan.com is something we’ve written about in the past. It is a free web-based collaborative tool that lets users enter local prices to compare with other locations around the world.


What does it cost to live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil?

Rio vs. San Francisco: The overall cost of living in San Francisco, California is 20% more than in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The cost of a pair of 501 Levi’s is 41% more in Rio than in San Francisco, while cold medicine in Rio is 5% less than what it costs in San Francisco. Check out the full costs comparison breakdown between Rio vs. San Francisco.

Rio vs. Shenzhen: The overall cost of living in Shenzhen, China is 39% less than Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The cost of a 900 sq. ft. furnished apartment costs 65% more in Rio than in Shenzhen, while a Volkswagen Golf is 24% less than what it costs in Shenzhen. Check out the full costs comparison breakdown between Rio vs. Shenzhen.

Rio vs. Moscow: The overall cost of living in Moscow, Russia is 4% more than Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The cost of the daily menu in the downtown business district is 7% more in Rio than in Moscow, while a 40″ flat screen TV is 15% more than what it costs in Moscow. Check out the full costs comparison breakdown between Rio vs. Moscow.

Rio vs. Hong Kong: The overall cost of living in Hong Kong is 33% more than Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The cost of a combo meal at a fast food restaurant is 124% more in Rio than in Hong Kong, while a liter of milk costs 58% less than what it costs in Hong Kong. Check out the full costs comparison breakdown between Rio vs. Hong Kong.

Cost of Living Snapshots: Dallas, Texas

Dallas texas cost of living relocation companyCost of living differences are a major issue when considering an international assignment. For an employee to have an equal standard of living in their new location companies will often provide additional compensation based on a formula of the differences in cost between the old and the new location called a “Cost-of-Living Differential”. Today to get a sense of the differences in cost between locations we are going to start a continue a series of posts called “Cost of Living Snapshots” to compare the cost of living in different locations around the world at a glance.

With today’s comparison we analyze Dallas, Texas, which is one of America’s fastest growing cities. Also, Paragon has one of its offices in the Dallas metro area as well.

To gather the cost of living data we use, Expatistan.com. Expatistan.com is something we’ve written about in the past. It is a free web-based collaborative tool that lets users enter local prices to compare with other locations around the world.


What does it cost to live in Dallas, Texas?

Dallas vs. San Francisco: The overall cost of living in San Francisco, California is 28% more than in Dallas, Texas. The cost of a pair of 501 Levi’s is 21% less in Dallas than in San Francisco, while cold medicine in Dallas is 32% less than what it costs in San Francisco. Check out the full costs comparison breakdown between Dallas vs. San Francisco.

Dallas vs. Shenzhen: The overall cost of living in Shenzhen, China is 25% less than Dallas, Texas. The cost of a 900 sq. ft. furnished apartment costs 23% more in Dallas than in Shenzhen, while a Volkswagen Golf is 47% less than what it costs in Shenzhen. Check out the full costs comparison breakdown between Dallas vs. Shenzhen.

Dallas vs. Moscow: The overall cost of living in Moscow, Russia is 14% less than Dallas, Texas. The cost of the daily menu in the downtown business district is 7% more in Dallas than in Moscow, while a 40″ flat screen TV is 28% less than what it costs in Moscow. Check out the full costs comparison breakdown between Dallas vs. Moscow.

Dallas vs. Hong Kong: The overall cost of living in Hong Kong is 39% more than Dallas, Texas. The cost of a combo meal at a fast food restaurant is 62% more in Dallas than in Hong Kong, while a liter of milk costs 22% less than what it costs in Hong Kong. Check out the full costs comparison breakdown between Dallas vs. Hong Kong.