Singapore ranked world's 4th most expensive city for expats: Mercer

Paris - Hong Kong has overtaken Angola's capital to become the costliest city in the world for expats, Mercer's annual survey said Wednesday.

After topping the Cost of Living report for three consecutive years, Luanda was pipped by the Asian city in 2016, owing to a stronger Hong Kong dollar.

The survey by the Mercer consulting group compares the cost of over 200 items in over 200 cities, including housing, food, transport and entertainment.

It takes New York as its base for comparison and measures currency movements against the dollar, which has appreciated significantly over the past year. The Hong Kong dollar is pegged to the greenback.

Read also: Singapore named world's costliest city for 3rd straight year: EIU

How much do Singapore households really spend each month?

  • Average Singaporean households spend the largest portion of their monthly income, or 25.1 per cent, on food and beverage.
  • An average Singapore households spend about $156, or 3.3 per cent, on clothing and footwear.
  • Housing and related expenses take up 14.5 per cent of Singaporean households' monthly income.
  • The low figure could be due to the fact that most households would be utilizing their CPF money for their monthly home loan instalment.
  • 5.5 per cent of the monthly income of Singaporean households is spent on healthcare.
  • At $811 a month, transport expenses is more than 17 per cent of total expenditure of households, and ranked 2nd highest behind food.
  • This high figure could have been affected due to the high cost of car ownership, but could be realistic even for a household that does not own a car.
  • 4.6 per cent of income, or $217, a month is spent on communication.
  • Singaporean households spend about $399, or 8.4 per cent, on recreation and culture.
  • Educational services take up 6.6 per cent.
  • 13.9 per cent of household expenditure in Singapore is spent on miscellaneous goods and services such as social support services, insurance expenses, personal care services and expenditure on alcohol and tobacco.

"Generally speaking, prices remained stable across the world," Bruno Rocquemont of Mercer France told AFP, attributing steep rises or falls in cities' rankings chiefly to exchange rate fluctuations.

A strong yen propelled Tokyo six places higher to become the world's fifth-most expensive expat destination, behind Zurich and Singapore in third and fourth place respectively.

The cost of living in several US cities also rose on the back of the strong dollar.

Conversely, cities in countries whose currencies have slumped became more affordable, with Moscow recording one of the most spectacular price slides, falling from 17th costliest city for expats to 67th.

Bottom of the table of 209 cities was Namibia's capital Windhoek.

Read also: Singapore named Asian city with highest quality of life

World's most expensive cities: Economist

  • Average US$ price 1kg loaf of bread

    Current: $3.36
    Last year: $3.25
    5 years: $2.90
    10 years: $2.97
  • Average US$ price 1 bottle table wine (750ml)

    Current: $25.04
    Last year: $25.65
    5 years: $22.52
    10 years: $13.25
  • Average US$ price 20 branded cigarettes

    Current: $9.55
    Last year: $9.76
    5 years: $8.11
    10 years: $4.72
  • Average US$ price 1 litre unleaded petrol

    Current: $1.73
    Last year: $1.74
    5 years: $1.36
    10 years: $0.69
  • Average US$ price 1kg loaf of bread

    Current: $8.44
    Last year: $8.95
    5 years: $7.31
    10 years: $5.27
  • Average US$ price 1 bottle table wine (750ml)

    Current: $11.45
    Last year: $9.45
    5 years: $8.62
    10 years: $6.34
  • Average US$ price 20 branded cigarettes

    Current: $8.95
    Last year: $8.10
    5 years: $7.57
    10 years: $4.29
  • Average US$ price 1 litre unleaded petrol

    Current: $2.50
    Last year: $2.38
    5 years: $2.44
    10 years: $1.21
  • Average US$ price 1kg loaf of bread

    Current: $5.91
    Last year: $6.31
    5 years: $5.33
    10 years: $3.10
  • Average US$ price 1 bottle table wine (750ml)

    Current: $17.13
    Last year: $17.58
    5 years: $16.63
    10 years: $12.50
  • Average US$ price 20 branded cigarettes

    Current: $15.44
    Last year: $15.24
    5 years: $12.07
    10 years: $9.24
  • Average US$ price 1 litre unleaded petrol

    Current: $2.41
    Last year: $2.61
    5 years: $2.05
    10 years: $1.20
  • Average US$ price 1kg loaf of bread

    Current: $6.19
    Last year: $6.08
    5 years: $5.13
    10 years: $5.24
  • Average US$ price 1 bottle table wine (750ml)

    Current: $15.82
    Last year: $16.74
    5 years: $12.24
    10 years: $7.83
  • Average US$ price 20 branded cigarettes

    Current: $8.83
    Last year: $8.32
    5 years: $6.15
    10 years: $3.53
  • Average US$ price 1 litre unleaded petrol

    Current: $2.06
    Last year: $2.01
    5 years: $1.69
    10 years: $1.02
  • Average US$ price 1kg loaf of bread

    Current: $4.65
    Last year: $5.03
    5 years: $3.52
    10 years: $2.40
  • Average US$ price 1 bottle table wine (750ml)

    Current: $22.58
    Last year: $25.38
    5 years: $18.27
    10 years: $11.58
  • Average US$ price 20 branded cigarettes

    Current: $15.75
    Last year: $15.48
    5 years: $7.72
    10 years: $5.26
  • Average US$ price 1 litre unleaded petrol

    Current: $1.35
    Last year: $1.50
    5 years: $1.28
    10 years: $0.63
  • Average US$ price 1kg loaf of bread

    Current: $11.02
    Last year: $9.40
    5 years: $6.98
    10 years: $3.07
  • Average US$ price 1 bottle table wine (750ml)

    Current: $22.41
    Last year: $18.14
    5 years: $14.61
    10 years: $6.04
  • Average US$ price 20 branded cigarettes

    Current: $6.36
    Last year: $7.30
    5 years: $3.72
    10 years: $1.25
  • Average US$ price 1 litre unleaded petrol

    Current: $0.02
    Last year: $0.02
    5 years: $0.05
    10 years: $0.06
  • Average US$ price 1kg loaf of bread

    Current: $6.38
    Last year: $5.63
    5 years: $5.86
    10 years: $4.67
  • Average US$ price 1 bottle table wine (750ml)

    Current: $8.39
    Last year: $8.19
    5 years: $7.42
    10 years: $5.91
  • Average US$ price 20 branded cigarettes

    Current: $8.72
    Last year: $8.32
    5 years: $6.15
    10 years: $3.53
  • Average US$ price 1 litre unleaded petrol

    Current: $1.96
    Last year: $2.04
    5 years: $1.69
    10 years: $1.04
  • Average US$ price 1kg loaf of bread

    Current: $4.43
    Last year: $4.87
    5 years: $3.77
    10 years: $2.19
  • Average US$ price 1 bottle table wine (750ml)

    Current: $22.28
    Last year: $25.03
    5 years: $17.45
    10 years: $11.11
  • Average US$ price 20 branded cigarettes

    Current: $15.50
    Last year: $15.72
    5 years: $7.96
    10 years: $5.21
  • Average US$ price 1 litre unleaded petrol

    Current: $1.35
    Last year: $1.49
    5 years: $1.28
    10 years: $0.57
  • Average US$ price 1kg loaf of bread

    Current: $7.12
    Last year: $9.06
    5 years: $7.55
    10 years: $6.15
  • Average US$ price 1 bottle table wine (750ml)

    Current: $12.53
    Last year: $15.95
    5 years: $12.13
    10 years: $10.49
  • Average US$ price 20 branded cigarettes

    Current: $4.45
    Last year: $5.57
    5 years: $2.96
    10 years: $2.57
  • Average US$ price 1 litre unleaded petrol

    Current: $1.73
    Last year: $1.97
    5 years: $1.69
    10 years: $0.96
  • Average US$ price 1kg loaf of bread

    Current: $4.82
    Last year: $4.47
    5 years: $3.82
    10 years: $2.74
  • Average US$ price 1 bottle table wine (750ml)

    Current: $13.70
    Last year: $12.03
    5 years: $10.79
    10 years: $8.66
  • Average US$ price 20 branded cigarettes

    Current: $7.35
    Last year: $7.12
    5 years: $6.10
    10 years: $4.98
  • Average US$ price 1 litre unleaded petrol

    Current: $2.18
    Last year: $2.07
    5 years: $2.05
    10 years: $1.20

Most expensive real estate markets worldwide

  • 1. Monaco

    According to the Wealth Report 2016, Monaco remained the world's most expensive residential real estate market on a square-meter basis, with US$1 million buying only 17 square meters, or 183 square feet.

  • 2. Hong Kong

    Hong Kong was the second most-expensive market, with US$1 million buying 20 square meters, or 215 square feet.

  • 3. London

    London ranked third with 22 square meters, or 236 square feet.

  • 4. New York

    New York once again ranked as the most expensive US city on a per-meter basis, with US$1 million buying 27 square meters, or roughly 290 square feet.

  • 5. Geneva

    US$1 million buys 40 square metres.

  • 6. Sydney

    US$1 million buys 40 square metres.

  • 7. Singapore

    Singapore is the 7th most expensive real estate market in the world, in the list which looked only at "prime" real estate.

  • 8. Shanghai

    According to the report, Shanghai saw the third most substantial rise in property prices last year.

  • 9. Paris

    US$1 million buys 57 square metres.

  • 10. Beijing

    US$1 million buys 58 square metres.

  • 11. Los Angeles

  • 12. Rome

  • 13. Miami

    Miami ranked third among US cities, with 6 per cent price growth.

  • 14. Moscow

  • 15. Tokyo

  • 16. Istanbul

  • 17. Berlin

  • 18. Mumbai

  • 19. Sao Paulo

    Brazil's economic crisis means that US$1 million now buys 203 square meters, or 2,185 square feet of prime real estate. That compares with 142 square meters, or around 1,500 square feet, last year.

  • 20. Cape Town

    In Cape Town, US$1 million buys 255 square meters, or 2,745 square feet.

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