SHANGHAI (上海) has replaced Hong Kong as the most expensive place in Asia, when measuring by a ‘basket’ of luxury goods and services, according to Bank Julius Baer’s annual Wealth Report Asia.
In fact, the SAR is now just the third most expensive city behind Singapore (新加坡). Data was collected from June 2017 to July this year.
In Hong Kong, the basket of goods and services rose by 2.2 percent. The SAR remains the most expensive city in Asia for buying residential property or taking a business-class flight. But items such as skin creams, ladies shoes and men’s suits are relatively inexpensive.
Shanghai became far pricier when buying property, hiring a lawyer or buying watches, jewelry and handbags. Kuala Lumpur (吉隆坡) remained the least expensive city in Asia. It is certainly the best place to pick up a piano, or smoke a cigar.
Other findings include how women now account for half of Chinese luxury spending. And the purchasing power of women across Asia is increasing as more females take senior management positions and become more financially savvy.
The report introduced a ‘His & Hers Index’ to compare the cost of luxury goods for men and women. It will perhaps come as no surprise that women’s items cost more on average, though Seoul (首爾) is the most expensive city for men and women because of a hefty excise tax on some imports. Jakarta (雅加達) is the cheapest for men’s items, while Mumbai (孟買) is great for women shoppers.
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 12 December 2018)
Bank Julius Baer’s annual Wealth Report Asia 2018
Revealed: The world’s most (and least) expensive cities