While a multitude of lists are drawn up by all kinds of publications, the following is the list of most expensive cities by CBS fits the bill:
Singapore’s place as the most expensive city has been built for decades on the basis of its scarcity of natural resources .Built on swamps reclaimed; each micro- meter of land is precious here. It has built its glorious title also on the basis of soaring living costs, currency appreciation and solid price inflation. As it is a city-state’s the scarcity of every form of natural resources means it is highly dependent on imports of energy clean water imports. Transport costs are stratospheric -almost three times higher than New York. Buying clothes can break your bank here as it is one the most expensive places to buy clothes- in the world!
Moreover its complex Certificate of Entitlement system makes car ownership very difficult .The public transport also refuses to help and adds to the cost of living as it costs almost three times higher than that of New York.
2) Hong Kong
Hong Kong owes its position as one of the excruciatingly expensive real estate and spaces. The housing prices have further zoomed taking it to even higher levels. Mainland Chinese looking for second homes or commercial spaces are fuelling this boom parallel to their rise in wealth. The low interest rates are also driving ease of loans and fuelling the pent up demand for space. The houses are still “severely unaffordable” as the median home price is around 20 times the median annual pretax household income – a gap that is unlikely to be filled. It is evident in the rapidly rising “cage homes” and dangerous, subdivided apartments for the poor.
The Swiss city zoomed to the top expensive cities based on the Swiss central bank’s surprising move to scrap its currency ceiling. This gave a fillip to its currency, shooting the value of the franc to a record high against dollar and the euro. Hence, presently a family of three in the city needs more than $3,600 a month to live. Yet the city people are thriving because of the high wages – which again impels inflation. In spite of the Franc’s high value, the citizens here draw amongst the highest salaries in the world and enjoy one of the highest purchasing power in Europe.
As the yen has appreciated, becoming strong against the US dollar, the city has retained its position as one of world’s most expensive cities to live in. The cost of housing in this sparsely habitable island and surrounded by seas makes it a perennial top performer. It does not possess either land for constructing houses and offices, nor energy or natural resources. Every day items here cost unimaginably with a loaf of bread going for $10. Everyday items like fuel, wine, movies cost way beyond any other city. A bottle of wine costs around $16!
The city has been the traditional capital of Japan for centuries. When Japan modernized, the city quickly lost its primacy but emerged as the commercial capital. Even today, while major corporates operate out of Tokyo, this city houses world beating conglomerates- like Panasonic, Sanyo, and Sharp.
The land scarce area is packed with population –leading to incredibly high real estate.