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SG Singapore is 5th most expensive city for expats: study

Property Here - Wednesday, July 24, 2013

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Singapore is the fifth most expensive city for expatriates, according to a new survey by global consulting firm, Mercer.

Covering 214 cities across five continents, Mercer's 2013 Cost of Living Survey compares costs of over 200 items in each location, including housing, food, clothing, transportation, household goods and entertainment.

In this year's survey, Luanda in Angola topped the costliest cities list, followed by Moscow, Russia; Tokyo, Japan; and N'Djamena, Chad. Singapore rounded up the top five while in ranks six to ten were Hong Kong; cities of Geneva, Zurich and Bern in Switzerland; and Sydney, Australia.

“Recent world events, including economic and political upheavals, which resulted in currency fluctuations, cost inflation for goods and services, and volatility in accommodation prices have impacted these cities making them expensive,” noted Barb Marder, Senior Partner and Mercer's Global Mobility Practice Leader.

In ranking the cities, one of the main factors gauged was the cost of expat housing. For instance, Mercer ranked the cities based on the cost of rent for a luxury two-bedroom unfurnished apartment. In Luanda, monthly rent goes for US$6,500 (S$8,209), which compares to Moscow's US$4,600 (S$5,809); Tokyo's US$4,513.34 (S$5,700) and Singapore's US$3,794.94 (S$4,793).

“Overall, the cost of living in cities across parts of Europe has gone up in the ranking as a result of the slight strengthening of local currencies against the US dollar, whereas in Asia about half of the cities went down in the ranking – Japan especially – due to local currencies' weakening against the US dollar,” said Nathalie Constantin-Métral, Principal at Mercer.



Nikki De Guzman, Junior Journalist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories email nikki@allproperty.com.sg