Singapore is most expensive city for expats

Singapore has been ranked as the world’s most expensive city for expats to live in for the fourth consecutive year.

The 2017 Worldwide Cost of Living carried out by the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) compared more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services in major cities across the world.

These items include food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, home rents, transport, utility bills, private schools, domestic help and recreational costs.

The latest survey found that Singapore is the most expensive city in which to buy and maintain a car, and the second-priciest destination to buy clothes.

In terms of food and drink, the cost of living in Singapore is on a par with Shanghai, while Seoul, Tokyo and Osaka are the three most expensive places in the world to buy staple goods.

Asian cities dominated the higher echelons of the list, with five cities from the continent in its top six. Hong Kong was second, Tokyo fourth, Osaka fifth and Seoul sixth. The exception was Switzerland’s Zurich, which was ranked third.

Geneva, Paris, New York and Copenhagen completed the top 10.

The biggest movers up the ranking in the last 12 months were mostly from the emerging markets. Brazil’s Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro climbed up 29 and 27 places respectively to rank 78th and 86th thanks to a recovery in the local currency and double-digit inflation. Antipodean cities such as Brisbane, Adelaide, and Auckland also clocked in higher this year.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Manchester and London dropped 25 and 18 places respectively mostly due to last year’s plunge in the British pound following the Brexit vote.

The lowest costs of living were reported in several Middle Eastern countries, notably Almaty, Kazakhstan, which was the cheapest city on the list.

Article published 24th March 2017