Expatiate Housing and the Currency of Exchange: Jakarta, Indonesia

    Nov 05, 2015 @ 02:43 PM / by Meleah Paull

    Beginning on July 1, 2015, all transactions within Indonesia must be paid in Indonesian rupiah. This ban on foreign currencies has disrupted the common practice of quoting prices and paying rent for expatriate executive housing in U.S. dollars. Realtors I spoke with in August, however, said that there has been little substantive change in negotiation practices. Rents are still discussed in U.S. dollar terms and then converted to and paid in rupiah at the time of agreement and signing. Although rents are stated as a monthly price, the full term of any expatriate rental in Jakarta must be paid in advance, so the conversion to rupiah is calculated just once rather than many times throughout the lease.


    The law was originally proposed several years ago but was finally put into effect over several months amid a sharp downtown in the value of Indonesia’s domestic currency.

    In September the rupiah slumped to its lowest level since the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s. President Joko Widodo, who took office in October 2014 and is commonly known as Jokowi, supported the law as a way to reduce dependence on the dollar, and encouraged Indonesian consumers to buy local goods to support the rupiah.

    Topics: Currency Volatility, On-site Insight, Expatriate Housing, Jakarta, Indonesia, Insights and Experience

    Meleah Paull

    Written by Meleah Paull

    Meleah is the Director of Data Research & Analysis, overseeing the Research, Goods & Services, and Housing teams. She joined AIRINC in 2015 as a way to continue traveling the world and stayed for the data. She has previously worked with governments, think tanks, non-profits, international organizations, and private and public companies. Meleah makes strategic decisions about how and where to collect data, analytical processes and tools, and answers client questions about core reference data. She received her B.A. in International Studies from the University of Washington and her M.A. in International Affairs from The George Washington University. She has lived and worked in Slovenia and Russia and is currently based in California.