SUNDAY TIMES - These are the 10 most expensive - and cheapest - cities in the world
Sunday Times News By AFP and Staff Reporter, 2016-03-16 13:45:59.0

These are the 10 most expensive - and cheapest - cities in the world

A view of blocks of private residential condominiums (L) and executive condominiums in Singapore in this January 4, 2016 file photo.
Image: © Edgar Su / Reuters REUTERS

Singapore retained its title as the world’s most expensive city for a third year in a row, according to the findings of the latest Worldwide Cost of Living Survey.

Yo-yoing currencies, spiralling inflation and plunging commodity costs shook up the rankings of the world's most expensive cities, according to the survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

"Only eight cities of the 133 surveyed have seen their ranking position remain unchanged in the last 12 months," the EIU said.

Perennially-expensive Japan -- whose capital was the planet's costliest city for much of the last two decades -- has dropped against global peers, thanks to a much weaker yen.

Tokyo -- in 11th place globally -- is now only as expensive as Shanghai, where rising prices are hitting consumers in the pocket.

The collapse of the Brazillian Real has sent the relative cost of living in Rio De Janeiro down 52 places to 113th -- making it half as costly as New York.

"In nearly 17 years of working on this survey I can't recall a year as volatile as 2015," said Jon Copestake, an EIU survey editor.

Singapore retains the top spot in the list -- thanks chiefly to the eye-watering cost of owning a car in the city state -- with Zurich and Hong Kong tied in second place.

Asian cities tended to be the priciest locations for general grocery shopping, with Seoul the most expensive for everyday food, while recreation and entertainment was a big drain for European locations.

Resource-backed currencies like the Australian dollar also weakened because of lower commodities demand from China, edging cities like Sydney and Melbourne out of this year's top 10 list.


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Meanwhile on the other end of the spectrum Zambia's capital Lusaka took the crown as the cheapest city in the world. India saw four cities join the bottom ten along with Algiers, Karachi, Damascus, Caracas and Almaty.