A luxury lifestyle cost of living report by private banker Julius Baer revealed that Singapore is the second most expensive city in Asia for the rich. Using 20 luxurious goods and services like BMW and a 4,000 sq-ft property in prime location as indicators, Singapore this year became more expensive than Hongkong and took the latter’s second position.
According to the report, Singapore “loses out” only in the property aspect but the private banking firm believe that property prices has already bottomed out:
“However, we are starting to see signs of a bottoming of activity, particularly in the prime districts where sales volumes have increased sharply in the first half of 2016 due to the various incentives and discounts offered by developers.”
The private bank also said that foreign investors will come back for Singapore properties in the medium term because of its reputation for healthcare and business environment. The only area where Singapore “outperforms” the rest is the private cars where COE and other taxes bumped up the cost of private car ownership.
A previous cost of living report by Mercer also found that the cost of living is equally unaffordable for the middle class and poor as well, where Singapore took the 4th ranking among the most expensive cities in the world. Singapore’s income inequality is also among the widest in the world (GINI coefficient of 4.63 in 2015), with the general populace living in government housing flats and the bottom 30% percentile of the population earning less than S$1,500 a month.