SINGAPORE has retained its title as the most expensive city in the world for the fifth year running, according to a new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
Singapore’s top ranking is reflective of a regional trend, with the costs of living picking up across parts of Asia as their economies expand.
Coming in close second is Paris, followed by Zurich, Hong Kong and Oslo, Norway rounding out the top five.
Singapore’s top spot will come as little surprise to anyone who has ever tried to buy a car in the city state, where you can be expected to fork out upwards of SGD70,000 (US$53,000).
Despite its high ranking, the report found Singapore still offers relative value in some categories compared with its regional peers. Personal care, household goods and domestic help in Singapore remain significantly cheaper than its peers.
Here’s the full top 10 most expensive cities in the world:
- Singapore, Singapore
- Paris, France
- Zurich, Switzerland
- Hong Kong, Hong Kong
- Oslo, Norway
- Geneva, Switzerland
- Seoul, South Korea
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Tel Aviv, Israel
- Sydney, Australia
The EIU’s annual ranking compares more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services. These include food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, home rents, transport, utility bills, private schools, domestic help and recreational costs.
The survey is designed as a tool for companies to calculate cost-of-living allowances and compensation packages for employees moving abroad.
Notably, there are no American cities in the top 10, as the weakening of the US dollar in 2017 caused New York and Los Angeles to slip to 13th and 14th positions, respectively. Both Chicago and Washington DC did make the top 10 for biggest drop in standing since last year’s survey.
Bangalore, Chennai, Karachi and New Delhi all featured among the top 10 cheapest locations this year.
They were joined by Damascus, Caracus, Almaty, Lagos, Algiers and Bucharest.