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Singapore 9th most expensive city in Asia

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For the first time since 2010, Singapore has fallen behind Hong Kong as one of the most expensive regional location for international assignees.

Slipping one position to come in ninth in Southeast Asia, Singapore’s improvement is likely due to the weakening Singapore dollar against the US dollar.

According to the latest Cost of Living survey by ECA International, Singapore came in 30th globally, up one notch from last year.

“As in many parts of the world, Singapore saw a slowdown in price rises this year,” Lee Quane, regional director for ECA International Asia, said.

“Nevertheless, in both the global and regional context Singapore has maintained its position as one of the more expensive locations in the world for expatriates – a very different picture from just five years ago when it was only just in the global top 100.”

Within Southeast Asia, Tokyo is the most expensive city for expatriates, followed by Beijing, which climbed three spots from fifth last year, and Nagoya in third. Japanese and Chinese cities also featured prominently on Asia’s top 10 list because of rising costs of living in China and a weakening Yen in Japan.

“It’s important to remember that certain living costs, such as accommodation rental, utilities, car purchases and school fees are not included in our cost of living basket,” Quane said.

“Because these costs are usually addressed separately by an expatriate’s employer, we collect this data separately. But if we were to include such costs, Hong Kong and Tokyo would be higher in the ranking, while Beijing would be significantly cheaper due to lower housing costs.”

Caracas, Venezuela, is the most expensive city in the world for expatriates, followed by Luanda, Angola, and Oslo, Norway.

Most expensive locations in Asia for international assignees

1. Tokyo
2. Beijing
3. Nagoya
4. Shanghai
5. Yokohama
6. Seoul
7. Osaka
8. Hong Kong
9. Singapore
10. Guangzhou

Most expensive locations globally for international assignees

1. Caracas, Venezuela
2. Luanda, Angola
3. Oslo, Norway
4. Juba, South Sudan
5. Stavanger, Norway
6. Zurich, Swizterland
7. Geneva, Switzerland
8. Bern, Switzerland
9. Basel, Switzerland
10. Tokyo, Japan

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