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Sky-High Prices Make Singapore the Costliest Luxury City, New York and Miami in Top 10

With over 5.5 million people, Singapore residents pay the highest for rent, housing, school fees, insurance, taxes on cars, and general living costs.
Cover Image Source: Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Cover Image Source: Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Singapore has been crowned the most expensive city for an upper-class lifestyle, surpassing Shanghai in the 'Lifestyle Index', according to the 2023 Global Wealth and Lifestyle Report released by the Julius Baer Group. This ranking highlights the increasing cost of living in Singapore and sheds light on the challenges faced by high net worth individuals in the city-state. The report affirms that Asia remains dominant as a driver of the global economy and a center for wealth and lifestyle.

Image source: Pexels/Kin Pastor
Image source: Pexels/Kin Pastor

The analysts at Julius Baer attribute Singapore's soaring prices to the government's successful efforts in making it an attractive destination for wealthy individuals. These initiatives have inadvertently led to an increase in living expenses. As mentioned by Business Insider, with a population of slightly over 5.5 million people, Singapore faces high rent, house prices, school fees, taxes on cars, and general living costs. The analysts also point out that essential health insurance in Singapore is more than double the global average.

The cost-of-living calculator on the Singapore government's website reveals that renting a room in a condominium outside the city-state's central region generally ranges from 1,300 to 2,350 Singaporean dollars per month ($970 to $1,750). For those looking to rent a private condominium, the average monthly cost ranges from 3,800 to 5,750 Singaporean dollars ($2,830 to $4,285).

Image Source: Pexels/Kin Pastor
Image Source: Pexels/Kin Pastor

The analysts at Julius Baer note that Singapore, often recognized as a liveable, stable, and cosmopolitan city, is now positioning itself as a leading global center for the wealthy. The city boasts a bustling airport and one of the world's highest GDPs per capita, further enhancing its appeal. By the end of 2022, Singapore had an estimated 1,500 family offices, which is twice the number from the previous year. These statistics demonstrate Singapore's growing prominence in the wealth management sector.

Image Source: Pexels/Utpal Sarkar
Image Source: Pexels/Utpal Sarkar



Hong Kong


New York




São Paulo


Image Source: Pexels/Nextvoyage
Image Source: Pexels/Nextvoyage

The rise of Singapore to the top of this list reflects its continuous growth as an international hub for wealth and luxury living. The city-state's strategic location in Asia, coupled with its robust financial services sector, has attracted wealthy individuals from around the world. Singapore offers a high standard of living, excellent infrastructure, and a safe environment, making it an attractive choice for affluent individuals seeking a luxurious lifestyle. 

While living in Singapore may offer a life of luxury, it also presents challenges. The high cost of living and increasing prices pose significant obstacles for those aspiring to experience the upper echelons of society. Affluent individuals must carefully navigate the real estate market, education system, and other aspects of daily life to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable lifestyle in Singapore. Christian Gattiker, Head of Research at Julius Baer says that wealthy residents need to earn high investment returns in U.S. dollars to preserve their wealth as there is a major price rise in premium goods and services.

Image Source: Pexels/
Ritesh Mitha
Image Source: Pexels/ Ritesh Mitha

The presence of two U.S. cities, New York and Miami, in the top 10 underscores the enduring allure of the United States as a desirable location for luxury living. The rankings also highlight the continued dominance of Asian cities, with Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Taipei securing notable positions. Europe's representation in the list is also significant, with London and Monaco being recognized as cities where luxury living comes at a premium.