Home » Singapore ties as world’s priciest city but Hong Kong slips to fifth: EIU survey

Singapore ties as world’s priciest city but Hong Kong slips to fifth: EIU survey

Singapore remained the world’s most expensive city, taking pole position for the ninth time in 11 years, while Hong Kong slipped one notch to rank fifth among 173 countries, according to a study by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
Southeast Asia’s financial hub tied with the Swiss city of Zurich as the world’s priciest place to live in the latest edition of the survey, which has been carried out for more than 30 years.
“While Zurich’s rise reflects the strength of the Swiss franc and high prices for groceries, household goods and recreation, Singapore continues to see high price levels across several categories,” the report said.

“The city state has the world’s highest transport prices, owing to strict government controls on car numbers. It is also among the most expensive cities for clothing, groceries and alcohol, due to its success as a premier location for business investment.”

As one of the world’s top magnets for professional talent, Singapore has seen demand for accommodation surge, with home rents rising by a cumulative 50 per cent since 2021, according to a Knight Frank report earlier this month.


Singapore beats Japan with world’s most access-friendly passport in 2023

Singapore beats Japan with world’s most access-friendly passport in 2023

The property consultancy forecast that rents are likely to moderate in the coming quarters as the number of new residential units catches up with demand.

About 9,000 private homes were completed in the third quarter, the highest new supply tally since the second quarter of 2016.

For the whole of 2023, about 20,400 private residential units are expected to be completed, the highest annual number since 2017, Knight Frank said.

Hong Kong was the only other Asian city that made it to the EIU’s top 10.

Four mainland Chinese cities, meanwhile, were among those that saw their rankings drop the most in the past 12 months.

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Both Nanjing and Wuxi fell 31 places to land in 77th place, while both Beijing and Dalian plunged by 26 notches to tie in the 60th spot.

“In Asia, the weakening renminbi and yen have led to four Chinese cities (Nanjing, Wuxi, Dalian and Beijing) and two Japanese ones (Osaka and Tokyo) slipping sharply down our ranking,” the report said.
“Besides a weaker currency, slow post-pandemic recovery and subdued consumer demand have led Chinese cities to fall in the rankings.”

New York, which took first place in 2022 alongside Singapore, fell to third spot and tied with another Swiss city, Geneva, this year.

“Many cities across the world continue to struggle with a cost-of-living crisis [that] has sent prices soaring over the past two years,” the report said.

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“This year’s survey, which was conducted between August 14 and September 11, 2023, found that, on average, prices had risen by 7.4 per cent year on year in local currency terms for over 200 commonly used goods and services.

“This is slightly below the 8.1 per cent increase reported in last year’s survey, but significantly higher than the trend in 2017 to 2021.”

Inflation is likely to decelerate further in 2024, “easing price rises globally”, said Upasana Dutt, head of worldwide cost of living at EIU.

Data for the survey was compiled based on more than 400 individual prices across 200 products and services.