Which city unseated Tokyo as world's most expensive?

Posted at 03/04/14 4:44 PM

The Marina Bay Formula One street circuit is illuminated at dusk in Singapore. Photo by Edgar Su, Reuters

Manila considered one of 'cheapest' cities to live in

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - Which Southeast Asian city unseated Tokyo as the world's most expensive city?

Singapore is now the world's most expensive city, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit's Worldwide Cost of Living Survey. The survey is a relocation tool which compares the cost of living between 131 cities worldwide using New York as a base city.

"Singapore's rise is partially attributable to the continued strength of the Singapore dollar, but the city has seen price rises too which have no doubt been compounded by a reliance on imports," said Jon Copestake, editor of the report.

Other factors that contributed to Singapore's rise in the rankings, include car costs, as well as high power and water rates.

"For example, car costs have very high related certificate of entitlement fees attached to them, which makes Singapore significantly more expensive than any other location when it comes to running a car. As a result, transport costs in Singapore are almost three times higher than in New York," the report stated.

Paris ranked second in the list of world's most expensive cities, followed by Oslo, Norway; Zurich, Switzerland; and Sydney, Australia.

Tied in sixth place are Caracas, Venezuela; Geneva, Switzerland; Melbourne, Australia; and Tokyo.

Tokyo, traditionally the world's most expensive city, fell to 6th place due to the slide in the valuation of the yen.

"Despite Abenomics driving consumer confidence and price inflation, a weaker yen has pushed Osaka and Tokyo away from the top of the cost-of-living ranking," the EIU said, in referring to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic policy.

In 10th spot was Copenhagen, Denmark.

Other Asian cities are much less expensive than Singapore, with Hong Kong ranked 13th, Bangkok 61st, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur jointly ranked 90th, and Manila 111th.

Cheapest cities

Meanwhile, Mumbai in India is considered the city with the best value for money, followed by Karachi, Pakistan; New Delhi, India; Damascus, Syria; and Kathmandu, Nepal.

Also in the top 10 least expensive cities are Algiers, Bucharest, Panama City, Jeddah and Riyadh.

However, the study noted that outside India, "cheap" cities come with security risks. "Pakistan, Nepal, Syria and Algeria all feature in the bottom ten, but have had well documented security issues or domestic unrest," it noted.

Manila was one of the cheapest cities in the survey, falling five spots to rank 111th out of 131 cities.

In Asia, Manila was the 6th cheapest city, outranked only by Colombo, Kathmandu, New Delhi, Karachi and Mumbai.

The Worldwide Cost of Living is a twice yearly survey that compares more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services, including food, drink, clothing, house rents, transport, private schooling, domestic help and recreational costs. - With Kyodo