Billionaire's Playground: Singapore Is The Most Expensive City Globally

Mar 4 2014, 6:42pm CST | by

Billionaire's Playground: Singapore Is The Most Expensive City Globally
Photo Credit: Forbes Auto

The world’s most expensive city might make you think of sky-high Manhattan property prices. Or perhaps dinner at Tokyo’s many Michelin-starred restaurants. But actually, Singapore – the Asian city-state smaller than Manhattan – is the world’s most expensive city, according to a new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Singapore beat 131 cities to earn this title – overtaking Tokyo, Paris, Oslo and private banking hub, Zurich. The nation ranks first in cost of cars, spurred by the high “Certificate of Entitlements” that are currently just below S$80,000 (US$ 60,000). Transport costs in Singapore are almost three times higher than in New York. It also holds third position globally for prices of utilities. Expensive malls and boutiques on Orchard Road (Singapore’s retail hub) import luxury European brands to satisfy a wealthy and fashion conscious consumer base, according to the report. The nation is now the priciest place in the world to buy clothes.

Rising income inequality in Singapore

Singapore has recently come under scrutiny for its rising income inequality. A BBC report said the city-state boasts the second-biggest inequality gap among Asia’s advanced economies. Being ranked the world’s most expensive city is an unenviable position. Just 10 years ago, a bottle of table wine would cost US $13.25 in Singapore. Current prices are nearly double that at $25.65. The hight cost of living has spurred passionate debates about a “poverty problem” in the city-state. Despite government subsidies for housing for Singaporeans, many are unable to afford their own homes. However, the EIU report maintains that Singapore’s rise has been steady, not stratospheric, citing a 40 percent currency appreciation and solid price inflation over a decade as Singapore’s driver in the rankings.

A bubble waiting to burst?

Singapore’s economic growth has led to some analysts warning of a bubble. Forbes contributor and economic analyst Jesse Colombo stated in a recent article that got nearly 900,000 views:

“Like many countries that have experienced economy-wide bubbles and busts – including the U.S. from 2003 to 2007 – Singapore currently has a ballooning credit bubble that is helping to drive economic growth and create an illusion of prosperity. Ultra-low interest rates are the primary reason why credit bubbles inflate in the first place, and Singapore’s bubble is no exception to this pattern.”

Debates ran rampant on whether his article comparing Singapore’s future to Iceland’s economic meltdown was substantive. The Monetary Authority of Singapore even rebutted his claims of an impending financial crisis. Other economists also say Singapore still has the fundamentals to sustain its economic growth.

“Singapore has large current account (broad trade) surpluses in its balance of payments.  This allows it to build up its foreign reserves and investments (e.g. the cushion of a huge amount of wealth in its  SWFs). The country has a strategic location, low corruption, and skilled people so it will continue to be a hub for South East Asia,” says finance professor Jeff Rosensweig, Director of the Global Perspectives Program at Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business

“The warning of a bubble by Jesse Colombo made me pause and showed me some risks, but I’m still betting on Singapore.”

Source: Forbes Auto

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

IPad Air Giveaway 2014 is Online
IPad Air Giveaway 2014 is Online
Our sister site I4U News is giving away a brand new iPad Air or if you can wait an iPad Air 2. This is an $499 value.
 
 
Your Parent Or Kid Moved In: Are You Covered?
A record 57 million Americans now live in multigenerational family households — double the number in 1980, according to a new Pew Research Center study. And I bet many of them have the wrong homeowner’s or renters...
 
 
Pandora Looks to Challenge Terrestrial Radio's Dominance in Cars
Pandora Media is one of the largest Internet radio providers in the U.S. with more than 75 million active users. While the company’s active user count has increased at a robust pace historically, it is likely to slow...
 
 
Are General Manager Salaries About To Skyrocket? Will There Be A Front Office Salary Cap?
Are General Manager Salaries About To Skyrocket? Will There Be A Front Office Salary Cap?
It’s January 2026. New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner gets out of his driverless car and triumphantly marches before the gathered press to introduce his prized new free agent. It’s a record-breaking contract—over...
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Syrian army gains ground against IS
Damascus, Sep 17 (IANS) The Syrian army has gained ground against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group after launching intensive air and ground attacks in al-Ghouta, the eastern countryside of capital Damascus, a...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
'Zero tolerance for sexual harassment at Asiad'
Incheon, Sep 17 (IANS) The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Wednesday issued a zero tolerance policy for any cases of sexual harassment, if and when they come up at the Asian Games to be held here from Sep 19 to Oct 4....
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Jackie Chan's son formally arrested on drugs charge
Beijing, Sep 17 (IANS) Jaycee Chan, son of Chinese kung fu star Jackie Chan, was formally arrested in Beijing Wednesday following a drugs bust on his residence in the capital. The arrest was approved by Beijing's...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Medical irregularities found in Joan Rivers' death: Report
Los Angeles, Sep 17 (IANS/EFE) The personal doctor of Joan Rivers is being investigated for the death of the popular American comedian and television host who died a week after undergoing a minor throat operation....
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
17th Asian Games torch arrives in Incheon
Incheon (South Korea), Sep 17 (IANS) The torch that will be used to light the main cauldron at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Asian Games arrived here Wednesday. After a 36-day torch relay throughout South Korea,...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
First meeting of Nepal-India boundary group begins
Kathmandu, Sep 17 (IANS) The first meeting of the Nepal-India Boundary Working Group (BWG) commenced Wednesday in Kathmandu. The BWG was constituted this year to undertake field work related to finalising the Nepal-...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Ukraine unveils roadmap to implement EU deal
Kiev, Sep 17 (IANS) The Ukrainian government has approved a plan to implement the Association Agreement with the European Union (EU), Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said Wednesday. "The agreement must be...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
ICC World Cup trophy arrives in Pakistan
Dubai, Sep 17 (IANS) The ICC World Cup trophy arrived in Lahore as part of its visit to countries which will compete in next year's extravaganza to be staged in Australia and New Zealand from Feb 14 to Mar 29....
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Sino-Indian cooperation invaluable: Chinese daily
Beijing, Sep 17 (IANS) The India-China relationship is of enormous strategic value, one that cannot be replaced by other bilateral ties, a leading English daily of China said ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping's...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Shun pills, try sex to get relief from migraine
London, Sep 17 (IANS) Got a throbbing or pulsing sensation in one area of the head? Forget pills and go between the sheets to relieve migraine symptoms. In a recent survey by German researchers, 60 percent of those...
Read more on Apple Balla