Hong Kong has retained the top spot as the overall most expensive in Asia-Pacific (and 5th most expensive in the world) mainly due to the extremely high housing costs, as well as high cost of schooling and limited space available making rentals high. However, when you exclude costs related to housing, education, medical and transport, Hong Kong falls out of the top ten city rankings for this region. This indicates that Hong-Kong is not the most expensive place for other basket groups. Even though the current Government is committed to promoting economic development, improving people’s livelihood, and taking forward constitutional development for more effective governance, the overall high cost of living has resulted in living standards stagnating. In addition the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) has appreciated against most currencies in the past year, owing to its peg to the US Dollar, driving up the cost of living locally and contributing to Hong Kong maintaining it's place at the top of the Asia-Pacific rankings.
Xpatulator.com has been created to calculate expatriate pay using online calculators and an extensive database of cost of living and hardship indexes, for 780 international locations. The database is updated quarterly. Subscribers use this information to ensure expatriate salary spending power is maintained when on an international assignment. Salary spending power is affected by cost of living, hardship and exchange rate differences between the home and host location.
Singapore remains the second most expensive city in the Asia-Pacific region for expatriates and tops the region rankings when costs related to housing, education, medical and transport are excluded. The Singapore Dollar (SGD) has lost only 7% against the US Dollar in the past year, far lower than most other countries that are not pegged to the USD.
Tokyo has regained third place from Shanghai, up one place from 2015. This is mainly due to the strength of the Japanese Yen, which has held steady against the USD, while most other currencies have weakened. In addition factors such as consumption tax increases has resulted in US Dollar prices increasing in global terms.
Shanghai is the fourth most expensive place in the Asia-Pacific region, and 20th globally. Of interest this quarter is that for the first time, China has 4 cities in the Asia-Pacific top 10, with Macao 8th, Beijing 9th and Hong Kong in the top spot. While the cost of living for local people in China is generally cheaper, as it is possible to buy many items cheaply, Xpatulator.com compares the cost of living for expatriates by pricing internationally recognised quality brands, based on international spending patterns for comparison purposes, within expatriate residential areas, in order to make consistent global comparisons. In the past few years international brands and services applicable to expatriates have become more expensive, pushing up the overall cost of living.
Australia now has only one city in the top ten, compared to four in 2014, with Sydney maintaining 5th in Asia-Pacific, dropping to 28th globally, largely as a result of the weaker AUD compared to USD. The Australian Dollar weakened approximately 12% against the US Dollar during 2015. Canberra has dropped to 65th, down 28 places, Melbourne 74th, down 24 places, and Perth 80th, down 22 places.
The cheapest Asia Pacific city is Nuku'Alofa in Tonga.
For more, read a free cost of living review for the following Asia Pacific locations:
- Bandar Seri Begawan
- Ho Chi Minh City
- Hong Kong
- Johor Bahru
- Kuala Lumpur
- New Delhi
- Phnom Penh
- Port Moresby
- Port Vila
- South Tarawa
- Subang Jaya
This article may be freely copied as long as reference is made to http://www.xpatulator.com/