Singapore remains the world’s most expensive city according to findings of the latest Worldwide Cost of Living Survey 2015published by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), which tracked 133 global cities.
The city-state made headlines last year after overtaking Tokyo for top spot (Singapore named world’s most expensive city: Economist Intelligence Unit). Interestingly, there were no changes among the top five cities in 2015, with Paris in second place followed by Oslo, Zurich and Sydney.
The EIU report noted that it is extremely rare to have identical rankings for the top five cities, which happened as a result of currency shifts with a stronger US dollar and weaker euro.
But the report did not factor the recent unpegging of the Swiss franc from the euro, which would mean that at today’s exchange rates Zurich and Geneva would be the world’s most expensive cities.
Meanwhile, Singapore was rated expensive for a number of reasons.
“It is the joint most expensive place in the world alongside Seoul to buy clothes, with the malls of Orchard Road offering a price premium that is over 50% higher than in New York.
“Most significantly, Singapore’s complex Certificate of Entitlement (COE) fee system makes car prices excessive, and transport costs in Singapore are almost three times higher than in New York,” the report stated.
But Singapore does offer relative value in other categories, especially compared to regional cities. For instance, basic groceries here are 11 percent more expensive than New York, but is 49 percent more in Seoul, 43 percent in Tokyo and 31 percent in Hong Kong.