SINGAPORE: In June, Singapore emerged as the world’s most expensive city for luxury living this year, topping the Lifestyle Index of Swiss wealth manager Julius Baer Group Ltd for the first time after coming in fifth in 2022.
The index ranks the 25 most expensive cities in the world based on an analysis of residential property, cars, business-class flights, as well as other luxuries.
Its results are collated from surveys conducted between February and March of this year with high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) who have $1 million or more in bankable household assets.
But what has contributed to Singapore’s rising to the top of this year’s Julius Baer Index? Finance website Dollars and Sense listed this week several of the items whose skyrocketing prices caused Singapore to take pole position, including treadmills and whisky, unrelated as these two items may be.
The site noted that treadmills, which, along with other exercise equipment, saw a rise in sales during the Covid-19 pandemic years, saw a sharp price increase of 46 per cent year on year.
“This ties in well with the overall theme of HNWIs prioritising their health and wellbeing on the back of the coronavirus,” Dollars and Sense notes.
Respondents in the Julius Baer survey showed that gym equipment, membership, and wellness treatments were important parts of spending on health and fitness.
The price of wines and whiskies rose by 30 and 19 per cent in Singapore respectively, year on year.
The Index report alludes that the supply of grapes, from which wine is made, has gotten affected largely due to climate change. As for whisky, its limited supply, like wine, is likely the reason for the jump in price.
Incidentally, Singapore is the second most expensive city on the list for whisky. In first place is Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Another luxury item that has seen a big jump in price in Singapore is degustation dinner, otherwise known as a chef’s tasting menu.
And in a city where food is taken very seriously—with good reason—this doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
The item at the top of the list as having risen the most in Singapore is business class tickets, which are up by a whopping 47 per cent (whew!).