Singapore keeps its title as the world’s most expensive city for luxury living

By Abby Montanez 5 July, 2024

The Lion City and Hong Kong will set you back the most when it comes to jewellery, cars, and dining

Where are big spenders feeling the urge to splurge? Singapore, it would seem.

The so-called Lion City has topped the list of the 25 most expensive metropolises in the world for luxury living yet again, according to a new annual report by Swiss wealth manage Julius Baer Group. Hong Kong, meanwhile, moved up to the No. 2 spot after coming in third last year, Bloomberg reported.

Singapore’s political and economical strength, as well as its business-focused environment, have continued to attract high-net-worth individuals. As for spending, the locale is the costliest city when it comes to buying goods such as jewellery and shoes. Residents are also dropping hefty sums on dining, health care, and education.

“As this year’s results show, the impact of the global pandemic has settled into a ‘new normal.’ However, inflation, rising living costs, and increased geopolitical tensions continue to impact prices and priorities globally,” the report said.

The Julius Baer Lifestyle Index ranking is based on several different factors and takes into account assets like real estate, watches, cars, handbags, and other luxury items. For example, the survey found that Hong Kong is second-most expensive city for buying property and the costliest for hiring a lawyer. Shanghai, on the other hand, dropped from third to fourth place along with multiple other Asian cities. Most notably, Tokyo, Bangkok, and Jakarta also fell in the rankings.

London took the third spot in a one-position leap from 2023, partly because of the post-Brexit pound. Interestingly, every other European city on the list also moved up the ranking, including Zurich, which landed in sixth. As a whole, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa went from being the most affordable region to live in last year to the most expensive this time around, due to exchange rates and the poor performance of certain currencies.

“This year’s report shows that currencies matter a lot,” Christian Gattiker, head of research at Julius Baer, explained in the report. “Take Tokyo as an example. This used to be the posterchild of an ultra-expensive city in the 1990s. However, the steady decline of the yen has shown how this can change.”

Average prices in the Americas have risen by 6 percent compared to 12 months ago, with the cost of hotel suites up 34 percent and Champagne up 27 per cent. However, cities including New York and Miami have dropped in the ranking, while Mexico City leapfrogged from 16th to 21st place due to the strength of the peso. You can check out the top 10 ranking below.

Most expensive cities globally for luxury goods 

  1. Singapore
  2. Hong Kong
  3. London
  4. Shanghai
  5. Monaco
  6. Zurich
  7. New York
  8. Paris
  9. São Paulo
  10. Milan

This story was first published on Robb Report USA