Singapore is the world’s fifth most expensive expat city, according to ECA International

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Singapore has risen eight places to become the 5th most expensive city around the globe for expatriates. This is one of the results of the most recent cost of living study released by ECA International.

“Singapore’s growth is noteworthy. The increased demand for rental properties located in this Lion City, driven by factors like the earlier ease of Covid-19 restrictions in comparison to other important cities in the region but not matched with a similar increase in availability of suitable accommodations,” says ECA International’s regional director for Asia Lee Quane.

Hong Kong dropped from its top position in last year’s ranking by ECA to be ranked as the second the most costly city. It was overtaken by New York this year, ending Hong Kong’s time as the most expensive city.

“Costs for services and goods within Hong Kong rose at multi-year levels, indicating that the city wasn’t exempt from the wave of inflation we’ve witnessed across the globe in the last few years,” claims Quane. But, the city’s prices fell this year as the rise in the cost of everyday goods and services was offset by a decrease in the cost of accommodation as well, he says.

In general, cities within the Asia Pacific region saw their ranking fall this year, however, the South Korean city of Seoul along with Myanmar’s Yangon did not follow the usual pattern to gain a few spots. Seoul increased one position to 9th in the rankings and Yangon increased four spots to 167.

A rise in the cost of housing in Seoul caused by the tightening of rental demand as the primary reason driving the increased price of living. In Yangon the increase was a result of ongoing socio-political issues that have led to significant inflation of daily necessities and services.