Singapore has gained four places in the most recent cost of living ranking, making it the eighth-highest priced area in the world, and the second most expensive in Asia. This was among the conclusions of the most recent Cost of Living research published by ECA International on Dec 7.
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“The major factor that prompted Singapore’s growth in our most recent ranking is the double-digit growth in rent costs for the year 2022.” states Lee Quane Regional Director – Asia of ECA International. “The Covid- 19 pandemic affected the availability of housing that was available and the market’s demand for accommodation has significantly increased since the city’s opening of its borders again.”
While this might be a temporary change, it’s at the root of Singapore’s current standing among the 10 most expensive cities around the globe Quane adds Quane.
“Despite the general increase in global inflation, the rates in Asia have experienced relatively lower rises, which has resulted in nearly 65% of the countries surveyed across the region declining in the current Cost of Living rankings,” Quane says. Quane.
Hong Kong drops to second position
Hong Kong, which came at the top of the rankings last year and is now down one position to become the second expensive place worldwide as per ECA International. Despite the high rate of inflation and an incredibly high value for the Hong Kong Dollar, its decline can be attributed to a drop in lodging costs.
The demand for properties which are sought-after by expatriates plummeted in the context of it was reported that the Hong Kong economy stuttered in the backdrop of the slowing economic growth in China as well as the uncertainty of imposing the law on national security along with rigorous Covid restrictions.
“Like many other cities around the world, prices for everyday goods and services increased throughout Hong Kong at a rate much higher than the rate we’ve witnessed in recent years, and also surpassed the average growth rate seen across Asia. Asia regions,” says Quane.
The demand for rental properties slowed within Hong Kong because of its “sub-par economic performance lately” which led to rent prices to drop and in turn resulted in the city’s fall in ranking, according to Quane.
Chinese cities fell further in the rankings when compared to last year’s rankings as well, with Guangzhou and Shanghai falling out of the top 10 cities in the world. The Chinese currency weakened relative to US dollar, despite the an extremely low rate of inflation according to Quane.
Japan generally been seen as a nation with a expensive cost of living, has seen a marked change from the norm in this year. The decline in the value of the Japanese yen of 20% in a year when compared to the US dollar has led to massive declines in the ranking of all Japanese cities studied. Tokyo was ranked third in the world last year, is now off the list of top 10 cities cities this year, and Nagoya dropped 49 spots to rank 87th.
New York – the most expensive city in the world
New York has been named the most expensive city worldwide, due to the strongness of the US dollar as well as the high rate of inflation, according to Quane. These factors have caused all other US cities moving up the rankings this year, with San Francisco now in sixth and Los Angeles entering the global top 20.
However, the majority of European areas have seen declines in their position despite rising inflation rates triggered by the rising cost of fuel and food prices. This was in part due to an weakened currency, the euro as well as British sterling, which have caused the costs in cities of regional importance to be less expensive compared to other cities in the world.
“Following the significant decline of the euro to equal to the US dollar towns across Europe dropped in the rankings despite rising inflation rates caused by the conflict that rages in Ukraine,” notes Quane. “Throughout this region just nine cities climbed in the rankings and London being among the top nine. The eurozone wasn’t alone in this, since other currencies were also devalued when compared to US dollar.”