Bangkok: More expensive for expats

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THAILAND EXCLUSIVE: Singapore has earned the title of the world’s most expensive city for expatriates for the fifth consecutive year.

But in the latest survey from the Economist Intelligence Unit, published today, Bangkok has held its place as the second most-expensive city for expatriates in Southeast Asia.

Bangkok was ranked 50th globally, while Hanoi (66th), Phnom Penh (82nd), Jakarta (90th), Bandar Seri Begawan (95th), Kuala Lumpur (98th) and Manila (101st) were the other Southeast Asian cities to be ranked in this report.

Nikita Sisaudia, Urban Data Researcher at The Economist Intelligence Unit, in a statement to ThailandProperty.News, said: ”Bangkok is second only to Singapore as the most expensive Southeast Asian city in the survey.”

“Due to a steady appreciation of the Thai baht against the US dollar throughout 2017, Bangkok has witnessed a slight increase in its relative cost of living, and has moved one place up the ranking to the 50th position.”

The latest findings of The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living survey compared the prices of more than 150 items in 133 cities around the world.

Unlike in previous versions of this survey, property rental and sales prices are not included within calculations.

Singapore was discovered to be 16 percent more expensive than New York and Hong Kong, which was ranked fourth globally, was 11 percent pricier than New York.

“Singapore reflects a regional trend, with Asian hubs now making up many of the world’s most expensive cities,” said Roxana Slavcheva, the Editor of the survey

Exchange-rate volatility has meant that, while Asian cities have largely risen in cost of living terms, many urban centres in China and Australia have seen contrasting movements from year to year.

Elsewhere in the world, a stronger euro has pushed Western European cities up the rankings, with Paris rising five places to second position. Syria’s capital, Damascus propped up the rankings, having fallen 14 places to the last position during the past 12 months.

A free version of the report can be downloaded at

Andrew Batt
The author of this article is Andrew Batt, the founder and editor of Andrew has been writing about property and real estate issues in Thailand and Southeast Asia for more than 10 years. He has worked for PropertyGuru Group, DDproperty, Dot Property Group, Hipflat and AsiaRents. He has also produced content for leading Thailand property developers and real estate agencies.

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