Every quarter AIRINC provides a useful data points update on our cost-of-living research including housing, goods & services, tax and research locations. This quarter’s cost of living research was conducted in North America, Central and South America, the Middle East, Africa, Maritime Southeast Asia, and Oceania.

Highlights from AIRINC’s in-depth research


Canada [RISING]

Rents are up in Toronto as demand has increased, pressure on the rental market has seen vacancy rates drop. In Edmonton, vacancy rates plummeted due to an increase in domestic and international arrivals. Reports of record low vacancy rates in Calgary as well, saw rents boosted as a robust spring rental season is expected. Other Canadian locations’ rental prices have also moderately increased.


Rents increased in Dubai as, demand for villas is high and supply is very limited. Even lower end properties in less desirable areas have seen prices increase. This past year has seen more international arrivals enter the rental market which has tightened competition for senior, executive level villas. Abu Dhabi prices were also up due to supply and demand imbalances.

Australia [RISING]

With very low vacancy rates in Adelaide, the market has remained tight. New apartment projects are still under construction. Many newer properties are far away from the city center which has not been ideal for expats.

Brisbane has seen a spike in demand for rentals closer to the city center, and with a growing population, rents are up. Many people who were once working from home in small towns during the pandemic have been returning to the office, which is driving the increase in rental demand.

In Gladstone, the surge in rental prices is attributed to the limited availability of new rental properties, coupled with a significant influx of individuals relocating to the region in response to the abundance of high-quality job opportunities. Vacancy rates have dropped.

Most other Australian locations are moderately up with just a few remaining stable.

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Volatility in Argentina

The already turbulent Argentine economy was thrown into even greater turmoil in December of last year when President Javier Milei announced a slew of austerity measures, including slashing fuel subsidies and funding for provincial governments, along with the devaluation of the Argentine peso by more than 50%.

Milei maintains that these reforms are necessary to combat the country’s longstanding hyperinflation. Whether the changes will eventually result in stabilization remains to be seen. The immediate effect was an abrupt skyrocketing of prices. AIRINC’s on-the-ground survey in February found that prices had increased over 150% in the previous 6 months alone.

Argentina has already been a host to many widespread protests this year, and poverty rates have increased. However, before these measures went into place, Milei had indeed warned that things would need to get worse before they would get better – and many Argentines took that to heart. One potentially positive indicator for the economy is that, despite the annual inflation of over 275% for February, the monthly inflation rate has been lowering since its sharp increase in December.

Read more on goods & services...



For 2024, the income tax brackets, personal allowance credits, and PAYE allowance have been adjusted for inflation. The Universal Social Charge schedule has been adjusted slightly, with the middle rate reduced from 4.5% to 4%. The net effect of these changes is a small decrease in tax for all taxpayers. Social security is unchanged, but the rate is scheduled to increase from 4% to 4.1%, effective October 1, 2024. The Special Assignment Relief Program (SARP), which allows tax concessions for qualifying inbound employees has been revised and extended to the end of 2025. Qualifying employees arriving prior to 2024 may exempt 30% of employment earnings exceeding EUR 75,000 but no more than EUR 1,000,000 from Irish taxation. For inbound employees arriving in 2024, the earnings threshold is increased to EUR 100,000. Separately, Ireland Revenue has mandated that an employer must file Form SARP 1A within 90 days of the employee’s arrival to qualify for the program.



Adjustments have been made to levy rebates. The calculation of rental value of self-owned residence, the adjustment for the mortgage interest deduction, the maximum contribution for social security (national insurance), family allowances, and the tax rate schedule have been adjusted for inflation. The top marginal tax rate is unchanged at 49.5%. The net effect on social security contributions varies by income level. The net effect on tax is a small reduction.


Expatriate 30% Ruling - Beginning in 2024, the expatriate tax concession known as the 30% ruling has been restricted. First, the maximum exclusion is capped. The threshold is tied to the salary level of certain government administrator employees which is indexed for inflation annually. For 2024, the salary threshold for the exclusion is EUR 233,000, or a maximum exclusion of EUR 69,900. Income that exceeds the threshold are subject to the top marginal tax rate of 49.5%. Second, the exclusion percentage is tapered over a 5 year period: 30% exclusion (up to the cap) for the first 20 months, 20% exclusion for the next 20 months, and 10% for the remaining 20 months of the 5 year period. Due to the tapering of the exclusion during the 5 year period, most calendar tax years will be split partial years. These new restrictions apply to new inbound assignees that start in 2024 or after.  Finally, qualifying expatriates are now considered full tax residents, subject to taxation on non-Dutch investment income. The Dutch parliament has instructed the government to review the new rules for the expatriate tax concession to simplify and streamline the administration on employers, so there may be further adjustments to the 30% ruling. Expatriate employees who already benefit from the exclusion prior to 2024 will be able to use the old rules for two years (30% exclusion uncapped) and will be subject to the new cap beginning in 2026.


United States:

At the Federal level for 2024, there have been inflation-indexing adjustments to tax brackets and the standard deduction. The tax rates are unchanged. There is an increase in the social security wage base. Statistical itemized deductions have not been updated as the IRS published information on deductions claimed was not available at the time of the tax update. The net effect of these changes varies by income level, family size, state selected, and deduction type. An election-year bipartisan agreement is unlikely, but possible, as Democrats seek to restore the 2021 temporary higher child tax credits from the American Rescue Plan, and Republicans pursue a restoration of the deductibility of research and development (R&D) investments that expired at the end of 2022. AIRINC will update the tax models, as needed. 

Click more for the notable state tax developments.


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