Singapore


Singapore and Paris knock Tokyo off top of list of most expensive cities

by Ray Clancy on March 11, 2014

Singapore has been named as the world’s most expensive city, knocking Tokyo off the top spot, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living Survey.

The report compares the cost of living between 131 cities worldwide comparing a basket of goods ranging from household items, alcohol and clothing to petrol and utilities.

singapore flag

Singapore has become the world’s most expensive city over Tokyo and Paris

Expats wondering what their living costs could be will find out from the report that Paris is now the second most expensive city. It is popular with expats from the UK, the United States and Australia.

But baguettes, a glass of beer and bills now cost more after the city moved up six places on the annual list. The report suggests that this is due to recovering European prices and currencies. Other European cities such as Oslo, Zurich, Geneva and Copenhagen are also in the top 20 most expensive cities.

London is ranked 15th most expensive, but expats in the UK looking for a big city with lower living costs could consider Manchester which is ranked 49 and offers better value for money with living costs about 20% cheaper than the capital city.

Mumbai in India offers the best value for money and is joined among the cheapest locations by South Asian cities such as New Delhi, Karachi in Pakistan and Kathmandu in Nepal. Economic instability relating to the civil war and the collapse of the Syrian Pound has placed Damascus among the world’s cheapest cities.

Currencies are important when working out living costs for expats as many are paid in different currency to the country where they live and work. The report points out that the sliding Yen has made Japanese cities cheaper as far as the cost of living is concerned.

Price rises and a stronger currency mean that Singapore has become the world’s most expensive city and Singapore’s rise comes at the expense of Tokyo, traditionally the world’s most expensive city, which is now in sixth place.

While some may point to a 40% appreciation in the value of the Singapore dollar over the last decade as the driver behind Singapore’s current position, the city state is also subject to some structural factors, such as car related costs, which have contributed to rising prices, the report explains. Meanwhile, currency appreciation has cemented Sydney in fifth place and Melbourne in joint 6th.

‘Improving sentiment in structurally expensive European cities combined with the continued rise of Asian hubs means that these two regions continue to supply most of the world’s most expensive cities,’ said Jon Copestake, editor of the report, which looks at over 400 individual prices.

‘But Asian cities also continue to make up many of the world’s cheapest, especially in the Indian subcontinent,’ he added.

But other emerging cities are seeing the cost of living rise. For example, Caracas adds a Latin American flavour to the 10 most expensive, but the report points out that its position is largely due to the imposition of an artificially high official exchange rate. If alternative black market rates were applied Caracas would comfortably become the world’s cheapest city in which to live.

Beyond Caracas the most expensive city in the Americas is New York in 26th place, with the US city becoming more expensive than Vancouver, Canada over the last year.

{ 0 comments }

Thumbnail image for New international health firm launches expat service in Singapore

New international health firm launches expat service in Singapore

February 28, 2014 General

A new international private health company has launched in Singapore with a range of plans for expats, locals and companies. Now Health International, which has its headquarters in Hong Kong and also has offices in Shanghai, the UK and the United Arab Emirates, has partnered with Tenet Sompo Insurance to launch international healthcare plans in [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for UAE and Hong Kong most popular expat locations for professionals

UAE and Hong Kong most popular expat locations for professionals

January 3, 2014 China

The United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong are the most popular expat destinations for relocating global professionals to stay on longer than they originally intended, according to a new report. The study, carried out by global specialist recruiter Hydrogen, has detailed Hong Kong as the celebrated gateway to China which is attracting a large number [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Asian countries emerge as having the best quality of life for expats

Asian countries emerge as having the best quality of life for expats

October 31, 2013 China

Asian countries have the best quality of life for expats with a leading global survey showing that Thailand is first and four other countries in the region place in the top ten. Switzerland, China and Qatar rank in the top three for expat earning potential and Germany is the top destination for expat parents, the [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Asian countries top global list of best places to do business

Asian countries top global list of best places to do business

October 30, 2013 China

Singapore is the best country in the world for doing business followed by Hong Kong and China, according to the annual business report from the World Bank. The report shows that a majority of countries that top the global list are in Asia. The following countries in the top 10 are New Zealand, the United [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Expats in UAE spend most on luxuries

Expats in UAE spend most on luxuries

September 26, 2013 Dubai

The saving, spending and investment behaviour of Western expats in increasingly popular locations have been revealed for the first time by a new survey. A poll of hundreds of expats in Singapore, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates, three destinations that are becoming increasingly sought after for overseas jobs, shows those in the UAE [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Hong Kong is world’s most expensive city for home and business rental costs

Hong Kong is world’s most expensive city for home and business rental costs

September 18, 2013 Australia

Hong Kong is the world’s most expensive city to rent a home or business, followed by New York and then London, according to a global index compiled by international real estate advisor Savills. Singapore offers businesses locating in the city the best value accommodation in relation to the size of its economy according to the [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Expats not saving enough money survey suggests

Expats not saving enough money survey suggests

July 30, 2013 Singapore

Many British people in Singapore are choosing to live the expat dream lifestyle while abroad rather than save money for their return home, according to a new survey. However, the results could easily apply to any country that enjoys a low tax environment, good weather and has a large expat community, according to the study [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for New joint visa application centre opening in Singapore

New joint visa application centre opening in Singapore

March 21, 2013 Singapore

Australian and New Zealand citizens making visa applications in Singapore will receive better access to immigration services through a new, first of a kind visa centre being set up next week. Each country’s immigration departments today announced details of the first Five Country Conference (FCC) shared visa application centre (VAC) that will open in a [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Singapore set to become a magnet for expat workers

Singapore set to become a magnet for expat workers

February 12, 2013 Singapore

Singapore needs to attract more foreign workers to maintain its economic growth in the face of an ageing population, low birth rate and shrinking workforce, officials have claimed. Its government is preparing infrastructure plans that would see the city state reach a population of 6.9 million people by 2030. Singapore’s population has already increased by [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Increase in property taxes in Singapore to hit expat market

Increase in property taxes in Singapore to hit expat market

January 16, 2013 Singapore

Expats in Singapore face having to pay more for property with new taxes being introduced as part of a government policy to cool the housing market. Foreigners and corporates who buy residential property in Singapore will now be subject to an additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) of 15% of the purchase price, up from the [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Singapore emerges as the least emotional nation in the world

Singapore emerges as the least emotional nation in the world

November 23, 2012 General

Singaporeans are the least emotional people in the world while Philipinos are the most emotional, according to research from global poll organisation Gallup. In Singapore just 36% or people questioned said that they felt either negative or positive emotions on a daily basis, the lowest in the world.

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Bankers looking east for jobs

Bankers looking east for jobs

September 6, 2012 Singapore

Singapore has widened the gap over London and New York in a survey amongst UK investment banking staff on which financial centre they would most like to work in. The annual Preferred Location survey from financial recruitment firm Astbury Marsden shows that 31% of respondents chose Singapore as their most favoured location, up from 27% [...]

Read the full article →