Singapore has been ranked the world’s most expensive city for a fifth straight year as the cost of living in many major Asian cities continues to march higher. Singapore, an island city state of 5.6m people, is 16 percent more expensive to live in than New York, according to an Economist Intelligence Unit survey which compares the price of over 150 items in 133 cities around the world.
Singapore reflects a regional trend, with Asian hubs now making up many of the world’s most expensive cities,” said EIU’s Roxana Slavcheva.
Seventeen cities from the Asia Pacific region are ranked in the 50 most expensive cities, with Hong Kong placed fourth, Seoul sixth and Sydney tenth. Shanghai, at 21, and Shenzhen, 23, are China’s most expensive cities though the report noted that the cost of living in China remained stable. New Zealand’s Wellington and Auckland share 24th place.
“The competition between Asian hubs like Singapore, Hong Kong and Seoul on the one hand and European destinations such as Paris, Zurich and Oslo on the other will be one to watch over the next survey cycle as well,” Ms Slavcheva said. A stronger euro lifted several Western European cities up the rankings, with Paris climbing five places to join Zurich in second place and Oslo entering the top five.
Among those moving down in the rankings was New York, which fell four places to thirteenth on the back of a weaker dollar. Low inflation in Japan saw Tokyo and Osaka move out of the top ten, to share eleventh place. Still, South Asian cities are among the cheapest 30 in the world, “and continue to offer the best value for money in the region”, EIU said.