SINGAPORE - Boosted by a stronger Singapore dollar, the Republic is now Asia's second most expensive city for luxury living, up from third place previously, according to private bank Julius Baer's latest wealth report.
The 2018 wealth report tracks the luxury expenditure trends of Asia's high net worth individuals, defined as those with net investable wealth of US$1 million or more, excluding property that is their main residence.
Singapore trails Shanghai, which overtook Hong Kong on a price-weighted basis. According to Julius Baer, Shanghai is the most expensive city for six items on its index - hospital accommodation, watches, handbags, wine, jewellery and skin cream.
In contrast, Kuala Lumpur remains Asia's most inexpensive city for luxury goods and services, particularly residential property, hotel accommodation, wine, jewellery, pianos and cars, compared to other Asian cities, stated the report.
Following a strong recovery since 2015, global luxury consumption is expected to moderate alongside a cooling Chinese economy, but demand from Chinese millennials and greater female spending are expected to prop up the luxury market in the longer term.
In the report, Julius Baer introduced a new His & Hers Index, which finds luxury goods for women appearing to cost more than the equivalent for men overall in Asia. This index compares the prices of several luxury goods in relation to personal adornment and grooming - wrist accessory, outfit, bags, shoes and fragrance - specific to each gender across all Asian cities.
Seoul ranks most expensive in Asia for both male and female luxury goods. On the flipside, Jakarta and Mumbai offer the cheapest prices for men and women's luxury goods, respectively.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.