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Singapore ranks 8th most expensive locations for expats in Asia

·2-min read

SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Singapore has ranked eighth as the most expensive location for expats in Asia, and takes 13th place globally, according to research by ECA International, a consultancy managing compensation and benefits for international workers for businesses. (See also: Singapore house prices rise 6.1% y-o-y in 1Q2021: Knight Frank)


(Source: ECA International)

Hong Kong retains the top spot as the most expensive location for expats globally, followed by Tokyo, Japan and Geneva, Switzerland, in third place.

Other cities in Asia that ranked top 10 globally include Seoul, South Korea in eighth place, followed by Shanghai and Guangzhou in China, at ninth and 10th place globally. Both chinese cities moved from 10th and 13th place respectively in 2020.

“Despite falling rental prices and the Hong Kong dollar weakening against currencies such as the euro and yuan, the city has retained its spot as the most expensive location in the world for expatriates,” comments Lee Quane, Regional Director, Asia at ECA International.

“While New York was a strong competitor to Hong Kong — having placed 2nd in last year’s global rankings — the struggling US dollar allowed Hong Kong to retain its top spot among the global rankings, while bumping New York to 4th place,” Quane adds.

“The Pearl River Delta continues to be an attractive option for many international businesses while Guangzhou and Shenzhen remain expensive for overseas workers due to high rental costs and the growing demand for property in these cities,” he says.

Elsewhere, cities in Thailand and Vietnam continue to fall in the rankings as the economies are hit by the pandemic’s impact on tourism. Bangkok fell 11 places to 34th position, while Hanoi dropped 20 places to be the 115th most expensive location globally.

Meanwhile, Australian locations have shown an improvement from the rankings in 2020. Sydney moved up 17 places into the global top 50 while Perth showed the largest jump out of all locations, increasing 51 places to reach 74th place worldwide.

“Australia has seen a significant rebound from this time last year, when many residents were experiencing strict lockdowns in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. As these restrictions have eased, the Australian economy has rebounded well, following a strong demand for its commodity exports,” notes Quane.

“This has strengthened the Australian dollar, which pushed all Australian cities up in the global rankings as the currency now goes further abroad. However, with the country still shut off to most overseas visitors, it has not been possible for many workers to experience these benefits.”

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