Like spending big on the luxe life? Might be time to come to Asia
Singapore is the most expensive city in the world for luxury living, according to a report by Swiss wealth manager Julius Baer Group Ltd (h/t Bloomberg). The city, one of the first in Asia to reopen its borders during the pandemic, has been such a magnet for high-wealth individuals that by the end of 2022, the city held 1,500 family offices—double the number reported the previous year. It is also the most expensive city for car prices.
“High living standards and ballooning demands on local infrastructure mean life here does not come cheap,” the report said of Singapore. “Residential property is in extremely high demand, and punitively taxed cars and essential health insurance are 133 percent and 109 percent more expensive than the global average respectively.”
Julius Baer’s Lifestyle Index lists the world’s 25 most expensive cities by looking at information around residential properties, cars, business class flights, business schools, dinners and other luxuries. Shanghai and Hong Kong were ranked second and third spots respectively.
Asia remained the most costly region for a fourth year in a row. For the first time since the report has been ranking the most expensive cities, Europe, the Middle East and Africa are the most affordable regions to live well.
European cities have dropped in ranking due to Brexit and the subsequent financial turmoil it caused. Consequently, London is now in fourth place from second last year, as the city must now compete with burgeoning financial hubs such as Dubai and Singapore. New York, meanwhile, jumped up the list six slots. The Big Apple landed in fifth place from 11th last year thanks to the strengthening of the dollar and its pandemic rebound.
The survey also discussed specific industries; the report found that after the pandemic, there has been rising demand in entertainment and travel globally as pandemic restrictions have been lifted. This has led to increased prices in hotel suites and business class flights. “Experiential spending has increased with people embracing their freedom and indulging in social experiences,” the report said, according to Bloomberg.