全球最贵城市榜单 新加坡连续四年位列第一!

2017-04-10 11:47



  Last month, the Lion City hit the headlines again when The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) placed it atop its Worldwide Cost of Living index. However, this index was set up for a specific purpose. It’s designed for human resources departments to figure out the cost of sending employees on business trips or to work overseas, often in a high-paying job.


  Arguably, people with expense accounts don’t spend like the rest of us. When Singapore first topped the list in 2014, the city-state’s Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam suggested that the basket of goods on which the index was based included “imported cheese, filet mignon, Burberry-type raincoats, four best seats in a theatre, three-course high-end dinners for four people.”


  The EIU is quite up front about the index’s limitations, and its author Jon Copestake admits there’s some “premiumisation”. “You can find bargains in almost any city around the world, and you can live more frugally than the comparative cost of living which we apply,” Copestake says.


  So how much less does Singapore cost if you don’t throw money around like a banker? A group of academics at the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Lee Kuan Yew School for Public Policy made their own index, which distinguished between expats and locals. It found that for expats, Singapore was about the fourth most expensive city in the world. But for the ‘ordinary residents’, it was 48th, wedged between Lisbon and Pittsburgh.


  In the EIU’s index, Singapore stands head and shoulders above the world’s other cash gobbling metropolises for one reason: cars cost a fortune. The government has a deliberate policy of jacking up the cost as a means of keeping cars off the road and limiting congestion. You’ll pay about US$70,000 so that you can impress everyone with an entry-level Suzuki Swift.

  EIU认为,新加坡生活成本傲视群雄的最主要原因是:汽车价格昂贵。政府深思熟虑后决定把汽车成本提高作为防止汽车上路和改善交通拥挤的手段。入门级的铃木 Swift,要价居然高达7万美元。

  But in a compact city with cheap and reliable public transport and affordable cabs, it’s perfectly reasonable to go without a car. In fact, getting around in other cities can seem expensive by comparison.


  Copestake says that if cars were left out, Singapore would only drop down to ninth place on the EIU index.


  “As far as I’m concerned it is actually intuitively a fairly good indicator of the cost of living between cities, based in US dollar terms,” He says plenty of other items are expensive in Singapore, particularly groceries, clothing, and food and drink.


  The last category, food and drink, is also a little controversial. It’s easy to pay several hundred dollars a head for a fancy meal here in Singapore, especially if you want to drink wine. But you can also get lunch for comfortably under SGD5 ($3.57). In fact, Singapore boasts the cheapest Michelin-starred meal on earth.


  Then, there’s real estate. This category, one that makes up the major headache in personal financial planning for so many people, is not in fact included in the EIU’s study (and it’s possible Hong Kong would top the list if it were included).


  Expats in Singapore do tend to live in privately-owned condominiums, which can be expensive – rents for three-bedroom apartments in popular River Valley start around SGD4,000 ($2,850) and go up to SGD7,000 and above. But more than 80% of Singaporeans live in subsidised public housing blocks known as HDBs (after the Housing Development Board that builds them).

  新加坡的移民往往生活在私人公寓,在受欢迎的River Valley地区,三室的公寓租金为2850美金到7000美金不等。实际上超过80%的新加坡人住在政府资助的公共住宅区(由住房发展局建设)。

  There are a few strings attached when buying an HDB, but Shen says doing so is reasonable financially. What’s more, Singaporeans can draw on their mandatory retirement savings to pay for it, so for many it’s a payment that they don’t really feel. “It’s really not a huge part of your life.”


  Compare that with buying in London, San Francisco or Sydney, where an uninhabitable terrace just sold for $1.96 million. So, if you’re travelling or moving to Singapore, don’t panic too much about high prices. Singapore’s not cheap, but it doesn’t have to be a giant money fire either.



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