This year’s Bank Julius Baer & Co.’s annual Wealth Report for Asia shows that the Lion City is now the second most expensive city for those who like to live luxuriously, otherwise known as Crazy Rich Asians, based on the runaway hit romantic comedy from this summer, which was set in Singapore. The report monitors the spending of the ultra-wealthy in the region.
Shanghai topped the list, overtaking Hong Kong, which slipped to the number 3 spot this year. The capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, ranked as the least expensive Asian city.
One example—in Kuala Lumpur, you can buy a diamond-encrusted white gold Cartier Love Bracelet for US $41,818, while in Shanghai it costs US $48,143.
In fact, Shanghai is the most expensive city when it comes to buying six luxury items: watches, handbags, skin cream, wine, jewelry, and hospital accommodation.
As for Singapore—it remains the most expensive city for buying a luxury sedan, specifically a car from the BMW 7-series. This is due to higher taxes because of the New Vehicular Emissions Scheme. The price of these vehicles rose by 4.3 percent to USD 436,105.
The prices of membership in gold clubs, as well as hotel suites, also went up in Singapore this year, and Singapore is the third most expensive city for would-be owners of luxury property. Dining at Michelin-starred establishments also remain the top across the whole region.
There are really not a lot of bargains to be found in Singapore, though jewelry is the fifth cheapest in the region, and pianos are the fourth cheapest in the region.
However, Singapore, as the report states, has been named the most livable city in Asia and comes in second when it comes to doing ease of business, which is why it attracts investments and talents.
The report reads, “2018 has been a fortuitous year for the luxury goods market. The report shows that the cost of luxury living, as measured by the Julius Baer Lifestyle Index, rose by 2.91% on an aggregate basis in USD terms, compared to the 1.42% gain in 2017. This qualifies as our index’s best yearly price growth on record, extending its historical upward trajectory….
The Julius Baer Lifestyle Index 2018 compares 22 goods and services across 11 Asian cities, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, Mumbai, Taipei, Jakarta, Manila, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, and Tokyo. The 2018 report introduces a new index – the His & Hers Index, which compares the cost of grooming for wealthy women and men across Asia.”
The “His & Hers Index,” shows, just as one may have suspected, that women’s goods are more pricey, on average.
The most expensive city for personal luxury goods for both men and women is Seoul, due to an excise tax that could go as high as 20 percent for specific items. The least expensive city for women’s luxury items is Mumbai, and for the men, it’s Jakarta.
For those wishing to buy residential property, Hong Kong may not be the best choice, since it’s the most expensive Asian city in this particular aspect. It is also the most expensive when it comes to purchasing a business-class flight.
Julius Baer & Co.’s Wealth Report for Asia rankings 2018
3 Hong Kong
11 Kuala Lumpur