Why Singapore is one of the Costliest Cities for Expats?

Why Singapore is one of the Costliest Cities for Expats?


Singapore is currently ranked at position 16 among the costliest cities for expats, inching closer to Hong Kong which is at position 11. One would ask: what has led Singapore to such a position? There is one main reason for this:  the appreciation of the Singaporean Dollar. The explanation is as given below:

Singapore – One of the Costliest Cities in the world


Strength of the Singaporean dollar

The Singaporean dollar has strengthened to the extent of pushing the country to two spots up from its previous position. Though the currencies are not changed to other currencies, this has not prevented the goods and services from going up. The inflation has remained at 1% but the cost of living in terms of the country’s dollar currency has risen as to make the cost of living to be high for the expats.


How a survey was conducted

The survey made a comparison of the commodities which expats mostly buy in excess of 450 locations in the country excluding rent, school fees, and utilities among others. The consumer goods were then compared with the expats’ home country. The results show that the consumer goods are much more expensive than the expat’s home country.



Rising against other major currencies

Even before the survey was carried out, the Singaporean dollar had been observed to rise steadily against other major world currencies.



Purchasing power

Executives living in Singapore will need to have a hike in their allowances to cater for the inflation which has made life expensive. Though the prices of cost commodities are low, these have not prevented the currency from impacting on living allowances for the expats in a negative way.



Change in the global ranks

Singapore has steadily risen in the global ranks since a couple of years back. For instance, in 2011, it was 33rd position worldwide. This year alone the country moved to position 10th in Asia, having been 8th last year.

Others whose rankings have changed over the years include Hong Kong which was position 60 in the year 2011. In Asia alone, the country is only second to some Japanese cities, at position 5.

One contributing factor to this high cost is the importation of skilled labour to countries like Japan. The expats will require payment of higher allowances for them in order to maintain a high standard for them.

Other cities affected in the rank include London whose pound weakened due to Brexit. It lost a spot in the top 100 most expensive.




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Despite being one of the costliest cities globally, Singapore is also best known for being one of the safest countries in the world with steady economy growth.

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