Singapore ranks 3rd most expensive city in Asia

Singapore is the third most expensive location in Asia to live in, according to the latest accommodation reports from consultancy firm ECA international.

Taking the top spot is Tokyo, followed by Hong Kong in the second place, and Seoul clinching the fourth spot.

Rents have been on the rise in Asia, boosted by economic growth, strong Asian currencies and the region’s growing expatriate numbers.

ECA, which provides solutions for companies placing their staff overseas, said that Singapore’s rental prices for an unfurnished two-bedroom property fell by about 17 per cent in 2009 during the global recession.

This pattern was reversed last year when rents in Singapore rose 15 per cent to US$2,810 a month.

However, when Singapore rents are quoted in the local currency, they have increased at the lower rate of 9 per cent year-on-year.

In fact, globally, Singapore went up to 5th position, from 6th in the annual ranking last year.

Regional Director at ECA Asia, Lee Quane said that the assignee numbers are up again in Singapore, following falls during the economic downturn.

Quane added that this has placed pressure on rental accommodation here, particularly in areas popular with expatriates.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong has recorded some of the biggest price increases worldwide, up to 3rd position from 9th over the year.

Between 2009 and 2010, the price of renting two-bedroom property rose by 22 per cent to US$2,830 a month. This contrasts with decline in rentals of around 25 per cent the previous year.

Rents in Shanghai and Beijing, globally ranked 24th and 45th, rose last year after falls in the previous year.

Shenzhen, taking the 114th position, is the cheapest location in China for two-bed apartments, reflecting the big variations in costs across the country.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 15 Feb 2011

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