Asia dominates a ranking of the top 10 most expensive cities in which to live.
Singapore, for one, was named the world’s most expensive city for the fourth consecutive year in The Economist Intelligence Unit’s bi-annual cost of living survey released Tuesday.
The think-tank compares prices across 160 products and services including rents, food, clothing, transport, utility bills and private schools among others.
Hong Kong remained in second place, while Tokyo and Osaka returned to the top 10— making fourth and fifth place respectively.
In particular, Tokyo, which was the world’s most expensive city until 2012, has moved seven places up the rankings thanks to a sustained recovery in the strength of the Japanese yen.
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The final Asian city to appear in the top 10 was Seoul, at sixth place. The South Korean capital was ranked as low as 50th just seven years ago.
“With Japanese cities returning to the fold, Asia now accounts for half of the 10 most expensive cities ranked,” the report said.
Western Europe, meanwhile, accounted for four of the most expensive cities. Although the relative cost of living has fallen slightly in the Swiss cities of Zurich and Geneva, both remain cemented among the 10, in third place and joint seventh place respectively.
Tying with Geneva for seventh place was Paris, which has featured among the 10 priciest cities for 15 years, although the relative cost of living in the French capital has moderated.
Currently, living in Paris is 7% more expensive than living in New York; just five years ago it was 50% pricier.
The Danish capital, Copenhagen, which pegs its currency to the euro, also appears among the 10 priciest in joint ninth place, largely owing to relatively high transport and personal care costs.
New York City was the only North American city to make the top 10. The Big Apple, which rose to seventh place last year, fell to ninth place owing to a slight weakening of the U.S. dollar, which has also affected the position of other U.S. cities.
This, however, still represents a comparatively sharp increase in the relative cost of living compared with five years ago, when New York was ranked 46th.
As for London, the British capital fell 18 places from sixth last year to 24th—its lowest position in the cost-of-living ranking in 20 years as the devaluation of the British pound in 2016 prompted a sharp fall in the relative cost of living in U.K. cities. This, however, may soon change, according to the report.
“The U.K. has already seen sharp declines in the relative cost of living owing to the Brexit referendum and related currency weaknesses,” the report said.
“In 2017 these are expected to translate into price rises as supply chains become more complicated and import costs rise,” the report continued. “These inflationary effects could be compounded if sterling stages a recovery.”
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