Singapore has risen eight places to become the fifth-highest priced city worldwide for expats. This was among the conclusions of the most recent cost of living study published by ECA International.
“Singapore’s increase in popularity is noteworthy. A rise in the demand for rental housing in the Lion City, driven by factors like the early relaxation of restrictions on Covid-19 as compared to other cities in the region and was not matched by the same growth in the availability of accommodation that is suitable,” ECA International’s regional manager for Asia Lee Quane.
Hong Kong dropped from its top spot in the last rankings of ECA to be the second-highest-priced city. It was overtaken by New York this year, ending Hong Kong’s time in the top spot.
“Costs for services and goods in Hong Kong rose at multi-year levels, indicating that Hong Kong was not immune from the surge of inflation that has been seen across the world over the last year,” says Quane. However, the city’s prices declined this year due to the rise in prices for everyday goods and services was offset by lower costs for accommodation as well, he says.
The majority of cities within the Asia Pacific region saw their rankings drop this year, however South Korea’s Seoul and Myanmar’s Yangon were able to defy the trend to rise a few places. Seoul increased one position to 9th on the list, while Yangon gained four spots to 167.
A rise in the cost of housing in Seoul due to an increase in rental demand is the main reason driving the increased costs of living. In Yangon the increase resulted from ongoing social-political issues that have led to significant inflation of daily necessities and services.