Singapore rises to 18th place in expat cost of living survey

Singapore rises to 18th place in expat cost of living survey

Singapore is now the 18th most expensive city worldwide for expats, and the 10th most expensive in the Asia Pacific, according to a survey by ECA International.

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SINGAPORE: In the past five years, Singapore jumped 13 spots from 31st to 18th in the global ranking of the most expensive locations for expatriates, according to a cost of living survey by consultancy firm ECA International.

It has, however, been overtaken by other Asian cities such as Hong Kong, which rose 26 places to 9th place globally from March 2012 to March 2016, and Guangzhou, which rose 40 places to be ranked 15th worldwide. The island-state is now the 10th most expensive city in Asia for expatriates, according to the survey.

Over the past five years, Singapore and other Asian locations have overtaken locations in Europe and Australasia in the rankings, the firm said.

cost of living global

(Table: ECA International)

“In spite of relatively low levels of inflation in the past 12 months, a strengthening currency versus the Australian dollar and slightly higher rates of inflation for international assignees over the period as a whole has pushed Singapore above locations in Australia over the course of the past five surveys," said ECA International's regional director for Asia Lee Quane.

"This is also the case when compared with locations in Europe, who have experienced lower inflation rates and a depreciating currency over this time period,” he added.

Tokyo has maintained its position as the most expensive location in the region for expatriates, while Hong Kong and Shanghai are the next two most expensive cities in the Asia Pacific respectively.

cost of living APAC

(Table: ECA International)

ECA International said the twice-yearly survey is to help companies calculate cost of living allowances so that their employees' spending power is not compromised while on international assignments. The surveys compare a basket of like-for-like consumer goods and services commonly purchased by assignees in over 450 locations worldwide, excluding certain living costs such as accommodation and school fees, which are usually covered by separate allowances.

Source: CNA/mz