HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Is Singapore starting to become costly for expats?

It is now the 16th most expensive location in the world.

If the latest ECA International Cost of Living survey is anything to go by, then it seems like expats are finding Singapore becoming more expensive compared to before.

According to the global ranking by ECA, Singapore ranked 16th in the most expensive location for expats. The increase in cost of living for expats may very well be due to the appreciation of Singapore dollar against major currencies.

"Despite low price rises, the impact of the stronger currency means that where companies provide cost of living allowances to their international executives assigned to Singapore, these will likely need to be raised to ensure that employee purchasing power is maintained," ECA International regional director for Asia Lee Quane said.

Over the past five years, Singapore has continued to rank up the list from 33rd in 2011 and up 17 places to 16th this year.

The city-state rival Hong Kong is now the 11th most expensive location in the world, falling from ninth place last year. Over the past five years, Hong Kong has generally risen in the ECA global rankings from 60th in 2011, up 49 places to 11th in 2016.

Ranking first in the list is Tokyo, which has climbed up over 11 places the past year.

“For companies bringing talent into Japan the cost of an assignment will increase as higher allowances are required to maintain employees’ purchasing power. On the other hand, companies sending employees out of Japan can pay lower cost of living allowances and still provide sufficient remuneration
to maintain their standard of living,” Quane noted.

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