S’pore now sixth most expensive location in Asia for expats

The continued strength of the Singapore dollar has pushed the Republic up to sixth place on the list of the most expensive locations in Asia for expatriates to live, according to the latest Cost of Living survey from ECA International.

Worldwide, Singapore rose from the 68th to the 36th spot in one year, becoming more expensive for international assignees than places like Hong Kong, New York, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Shanghai.

The company, which provides solutions for firms sending their staff overseas, said the prices of goods and services commonly purchased by international assignees have risen at much faster rates in Singapore than in other developed locations in the region.

Such goods and services now cost almost 3 per cent more in Singapore than in Hong Kong. Just a year ago, they cost 5 per cent more in Hong Kong than here.

The strong Singapore dollar – which has risen more than 10-per-cent against the greenback in a year – is a double-edged sword, said Mr Lee Quane, regional director Asia of ECA International.

While it means companies sending staff out of Singapore pay a lower cost of living allowances for an employee to maintain their standard of living, the reverse is the case for companies bringing staff into Singapore.

Meanwhile, Tokyo remains the most expensive city for international assignees.

Also making the top 10 in the region are the Korean cities of Seoul and Busan, as well as Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai.

Source : Today – 9 Jun 2011

Join The Discussion

Compare listings