The 10 most expensive cities in the world 2016

The 10 most expensive cities in the world 2016

Singapore is the world’s most expensive city for expatriates according to the ‘2016 worldwide cost of living’- survey by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The study compared more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services from food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal care items to home rents, transport, utility bills, private schools, domestic help and recreational costs.

Singapore takes the top-spot in particular due to exorbitant costs to buy and run a car, thanks to Singapore’s complex Certificate of Entitlement system. The city is also a very expensive city in which to buy clothes and pay for utility costs but general basic groceries are cheaper in Singapore than places in Seoul, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

Singapore’s cost of living are 16% higher than New York (see table below). The second place is shared by Zurich and Hong Kong (+14%) followed by Geneva and Paris.

It’s noteworthy that costs across the world have been highly volatile in recent months not primarily due to specific price increases but to much greater than usual currency devaluations and movements caused by a stronger USD as well as falling oil- and commodity prices.

Zurich or Geneva got more expensive after the unpegging and the subsequent rise of the CHF vs the EUR and New York or Los Angeles shot up in the ranking because of the stronger USD. On the other hand, the weaker (commodity driven) Australian Dollar ‘kicked’ Sydney and Melbourne out of the top 10, down to rank 20 and 21.

Besides exceptionally high house prices, the stronger USD may also be a driver of Hong Kong‘s climb – the local Hong Kong dollar is pegged to the USD.

The weaker EUR affected the cost of living in the eurozone with the big exception of Paris, the only eurozone city to stay in the top-ten in 2016. The survey noted that Paris remains structurally extremely expensive to live in, with only alcohol and tobacco offering value for money compared with other European cities.

London makes the top-10 because salary-growth is stagnant and has not kept up with inflation and soaring house prices. The average price for a property in London is way over 500’000 £ but wages on average are close to 30’000 £ while the South Korean capital Seoul is rising up the ranks because of the high cost to buy clothes and to pay for utilities.

Travelers visiting Singapore will not only stay in the costliest city, but touch down and take off from the best airport in the world. Singapore’s Changi Airport was named this week as the ‘World’s Best Airport’ by air travelers at the 2016 ‘World Airport Awards’, held at ‘Passenger Terminal EXPO’  in Cologne, Germany. The Awards are based on over 13 million airport survey questionnaires completed by 106 different nationalities of airline customers.

  1. Singapore, Changi-Airport
  2. Seoul, Incheon-Airport
  3. Munich Airport
  4. Tokyo, Haneda-Airport
  5. Hong Kong Airport
  6. Nagoya, Chūbu-Centrair
  7. Zurich Airport
  8. London, Heathrow-Airport
  9. Osaka, Kansai-Airport 
  10. Doha, Hamad-Airport

Weak EUR – strong USD: Paris lost 3 spots, while New York and Los Angeles shot up considerably in the ranking of the ’10 most expensive cities in the world’.

Singapore’s skyline – the ‘Lion City’ is the world’s most expensive place to live – and it offers the best airport globally.

expensive city

One comment

  1. Thanks-a-mundo for the article. Awesome.

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