Singapore: The World's Most Expensive City

Singapore - the world's most expensive citySingapore is challenging New York and London as the world’s top financial centre, but it’s already number one for something: cost.

The city was again named the world’s most expensive in a global ranking put together by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), although the recent jump in the Swiss franc means Zurich and Geneva are the real table-toppers at today’s exchange rates.

Singapore retained the top place from last year as all five of the priciest cities were unchanged from 2014. Singapore came in ahead of Paris, Oslo, Zurich and Sydney in the study of 133 cities.

More than 160 services and products were compared against the base city used by the EIU, New York.

Above all it seems that owning a car is what marks out Singapore as the most expensive. Its complicated Certificate of Entitlement system makes cars excessively expensive. Transport costs in Singapore are around three times that of New York.

Other financial centres were near the top. London was 11th, about as costly as Tokyo, while Hong Kong came in ninth. Melbourne, Geneva, Copenhagen and Seoul were also in the top ten.

New York is ranked the 22nd most expensive city. But the Big Apple holds the top spot in the latest Global Financial Centres Index, making it perhaps the least pricey place for someone in banking or finance to make their mark at one of the big firms.

Given the rate of currency movements and the falling price of oil, it’s unusual for the top five cities to remain the same from one year to the next.

The soaring Swiss franc - the result of the SNB’s shock removal of its euro peg earlier this year - has not been taken into account, however. If it had then Zurich would easily top the list.

A tanking currency saw Caracas in Venezuela slide a whopping 124 places, from the sixth most expensive last year to one of the cheapest.

India remains the cheapest place, with Chennai, Mumbai and Bangalore all in the bottom five.