Singapore is the 7th most expensive city in Asia for expats to live: Survey

Victor Kang12 Dec 2019

Singapore’s rise is attributed to the strong Singapore Dollar.  

Singapore is the seventh most expensive city in Asia for expats to live, and the 13th most expensive city globally, according to the latest Cost of Living Survey by ECA International, reported Singapore Business Review.

The city-state rose two spots and five spots globally compared to its 2018 standing, mainly due to the strength of the Singapore dollar.

“Despite relatively low rates of low inflation and weakening global trade growth, Singapore has risen five places to be the 13th most expensive city in the world thanks to the continued strength of the Singapore dollar. Singapore is now more expensive for expatriates than Seoul and Shanghai,” said Lee Quane, ECA International’s regional director for Asia.

Turkmenistan’s Ashgabat, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Nagoya, Osaka and Yokohama, are deemed more expensive than Singapore. 

Singapore Singapore 7th most expensive cities in the world for expats ECA survey

Photo: ECA International

Ashgabat was ranked as the world’s most expensive expat location. The city skyrocketed from 146th spot in 2017 due to high inflation as well as a black market currency rate that is far weaker than its official exchange rate. This made purchases especially expensive for expats in their home currency.

Tokyo came in second, followed by three Swiss cities – namely Zurich, Geneva and Basel – while Hong Kong remained in sixth place.

Will the gloomy economic outlook affect Singapore’s property market? Find out in our Property Market Outlook 2020 Report

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Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email


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