Why Do Experts Consider Singapore as the Most Expensive City on Earth?
According to the survey from The Economist’s Intelligence Unit 2020 edition of living costs globally, Singapore took the first-place as the most expensive city for expatriates for the seventh year straight. This repeated newscast is no more of a surprise to the people living in Singapore. However, the seemingly extravagant nature of the city depends on many factors.
A few years ago, the former finance minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, stated that the reports of the cost of living predominantly targeted expatriates rather than the local inhabitants.
The lifestyle of Singaporeans is also a factor in determining if it’s the most expensive city to live in. Owning a car, fancy clothes and living a luxurious life will undoubtedly cost a fortune. Nevertheless, the country provides domestic help and self-care at a fairly reasonable price.
Only a Handful of People Owns an Expensive Car
It’s a matter of fact that having a car is a luxury in Singapore. Expats acknowledge that Singapore is the most expensive city to buy and drive a car. This is due to the different fees and taxes that the Singapore government charges on owning a car.
Taxes and fees are in the form of:
- Certificate of Entitlement (COE)
- Open Market Value (OMV)
- Excise Duty
- Registration fee
- Other charges like road tax, car plate fee, dealer’s commission
Besides the OMV of a car, COE is the largest fee the car owners need to pay. COE is the legal certificate to register, use and own a car for ten years in Singapore. Such legality is one of the reasons for cars being the most expensive in Singapore.
Geographically, Singapore is small and the cars permitted to run should be controlled properly. Also, the cost of land is huge for dealerships that tend to raise the car price.
In contrast, Singapore has affordable cabs and reliable public transportation that cuts out the inconvenience of not owning a car.
House-hunting and Homeownership
Housing in Singapore is expensive. The price depends on the size of the house you want. And if you’re on a budget, you can consult an expert who’s able to offer you with utmost assistance.
Only permanent inhabitants can get cheap housing from the Housing and Development Board by paying the Central Provident Fund. Non-natives don’t have access to subsidized accommodation.
For foreigners in Singapore, the very common housing are condominiums. Also, for the non-natives who’d want a whole house and a garden, lease rentals are of a common standard. However, it’s more expensive.
Renting on the outskirts of the city is cheaper than in the centre of the city. It saves you about 3,600 USD per month.
Inexpensive and Good Quality Foods
Food is one of the major highlights in Singapore. The expenses for food depend on where and what you eat or drink.
Some food from diners and restaurants will cost you an arm and a leg. Drinks, hotels and tourist restaurants are expensive in Singapore.
In contrast, there are local food courts, hawker centres where you can get quality foods for an affordable price. Likewise, happy hour bargains for drinks are also available.
Miscellaneous Reports Could Be Promising for Expats
There’s a huge gap in expenses between locals and expats in Singapore. As per the study of National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Lee Kuan Yew School for Public Policy. Singapore is the 4th most expensive city for foreigners. However, it positioned 48th place for natives.
Singapore held the 60th position concerning living costs according to the Asia Competitiveness Institute. The study involved several residential needs like education, housing and healthcare.
Considering the aforementioned points, Singapore could be the most expensive city in Asia. However, the high standard of wages, as well as the quality of life, justify the expenses. No wonder why expats and foreigners prefer Singapore among other Asian cities.
Furthermore, there are no rules to purchase expensive goods. You can settle for fair quality products without having your wallet suffer. Also, negotiation is a basic skill you’ll need to learn and harness whether you’re in Singapore or any other city.
In a nutshell, Singapore can be either expensive or not, but it depends on how you address your needs. 3E Accounting Singapore can provide you with professional advice to attain your goals realistically while living in Singapore. As a reputable Singapore Budgeting Service Provider, we’ll address your concerns and ensure you’re allocating funds strategically. We do this by working with experts specialising in managing and interpreting budgets.