World's most expensive cities for 2014: Top 10

Soaring cost of cars and utilities as well as a strong currency have made Singapore the world's most expensive city, toppling Tokyo from the top spot, according to a survey Tuesday.

The survey, which examines prices across 160 products and services in 140 cities, is aimed at helping companies calculate allowances for executives being sent overseas.
 

"Improving sentiment in structurally expensive European cities combined with the continued rise of Asian hubs means that these two regions continue to supply most of the world's most expensive cities," Jon Copestake, the editor of the report, said in a statement.

The report said European cities were among the priciest in the recreation and entertainment categories, reflecting "a greater premium on discretionary income".


 

Oslo is third.

Zurich comes fourth.

The survey, which examines prices across 160 products and services in 140 cities, is aimed at helping companies calculate allowances for executives being sent overseas.

Sydney is fifth.

Tokyo's weakening yen saw it slide to sixth place, the position previously occupied by Singapore.

"Singapore's rising price prominence has been steady rather than spectacular," said a report accompanying the survey by the research firm.
It said a 40 percent rise in the Singapore dollar along with "solid price inflation" pushed the country to the top of the twice-yearly survey from 18th a decade ago.


The report said Singapore's curbs on car ownership, which include a quota system and high taxes, made it "significantly more expensive than any other location when it comes to running a car".

A new Toyota Corolla Altis costs $110,000 in Singapore compared to around $35,000 in neighbouring Malaysia.
Overall transport costs in Singapore are almost three times higher than those in New York, it said.
 

 


Tokyo was tied at sixth with Caracas. EIU said the Venezuelan capital's position was largely due to the imposition of an artificially high official exchange rate. Pic: Getty

New York, which serves as the base city for the survey, was ranked 26th, while Sydney and Melbourne came in at fifth and sixth respectively owing to a strong Australian dollar.

Melbourne is at 6th.

Geneva

Copenhagen comes in at 10th.

"In addition, as a city-state with very few natural resources to speak of, Singapore is reliant on other countries for energy and water supplies, making it the third most expensive destination for utility costs," the report said.

It also noted that Singapore is the priciest place in the world to buy clothes, as malls and boutiques in its popular Orchard Road retail hub import luxury European brands to "satisfy a wealthy and fashion-conscious consumer base".

Singapore has one of the world's highest concentrations of millionaires relative to its 5.4 million population. Its per capita income of more than $51,000 in 2012 masks a widening income gap between the richest and poorest.

India's financial centre Mumbai was ranked the world's least expensive city, joining other South Asian cities including Karachi, New Delhi and Kathmandu in the bottom of the pile.

 

[Image via Shutterstock]

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