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Cost of Living in Singapore

According to the Mercer's Cost of Living Survey 2008, the cost of living in Singapore has risen up considerably over the past years, from 32nd in 2003 to 13th in 2008. Singapore is gradually catching up with other costly Asian cities such as Tokyo (2nd), Seoul (5th) and Hong Kong (6th). Due to the sharp weakening of the US dollar, the 2008 Mercer rankings saw many changes to the rankings. In particular, American cities, such as New York City, slipped from 15th place in 2007 to 22nd place in 2008. New York City is America's most expensive city. Europeans and Asian cities dominated the top 10 most expensive cities to live in, with Moscow ranked as number one.

The quality of life is good as this chic metropolis offers you the best convenience in entire South-east Asia. Singapore is the preferred choice for the settlers owing to its high-quality infrastructure, health facilities and first-world environs. Whether you intend to stay and study in Singapore or plan to settle down in this cosmopolitan country, it is always advisable to do an intensive research on the cost of living in Singapore.

The sky-rocketing real estate has been the cause of worry for both the natives and the migrants in Singapore, nonetheless, post-recessive situation has become more buyer friendly. Imbalance of supply and demand has reduced to a good extent giving much relief to the people. If you wish to rent an apartment in the middle of the city, expect to shell out anywhere between S$550 and S$700 depending on facilities and location you choose. While a three-bedroom condo comes for S$2,000-S$4,000, the monthly rent of a four-bedroom house with swimming pool can be anywhere between S$10,000 and S$25,000. If you do not wish to spend much on accommodation then rented rooms close to the city centre, which may cost you around S$600, is a fair idea.

As with many Asian nations, seafood is always on the menu and good value. You can eat out for very little money and if you like to cook at home, shopping at local markets can save you even more. You could even head down to port and buy directly from the boat for the ultimate in fresh seafood. A sumptuous meal at most food courts will cost you S$3 on an average. If you prefer home-cooked meal you need to be calculative about the grocery items you buy. The supermarkets in Singapore can be expensive. Vegetables like cabbage, carrots, horseradish and ginger are available at a more economical rate as also tea, coffee, nuts and red beans are available for a cheap bargain. On average, expect to pay less than S$200 per month on food, unless of course you are into dining at fine restaurants and hotels (of which there are many in Singapore) with other expatriates. Alcohol is very expensive, especially in venues that expatriates frequent. Buying from a supermarket is somewhat cheaper.

Costly apparels and high range of accessories may be the major contributors that augment the cost of living in Singapore. Although you find night markets and hawkers selling cheap items, you have to buy in bulk to avail discounts. Even locally made dress items are quite expensive. This fashionable country houses host of apparel stores selling imported and branded clothes with prices tagged in higher range. Since small jewellery are pricey, it is recommended to get them directly from manufacturers in nearby districts. Shopping for clothing and wares could cost you around S$300 a month.

Owning a private vehicle is not advisable in Singapore unless you are complacent about your financial status. The monthly cost of a new low-range and mid-range vehicle in Singapore will make your wallet lighter by S$1,000-S$1,300. If you do not nurture the idea of owning a private vehicle, you are somewhat wiser than others as the public transport network in Singapore is undoubtedly one of the best in Asia. Your bus fare would range from S$0.71 to S$1.80 per trip depending on the distance you travel, while the train tickets cost from S$1 to S$1.79.

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