Singapore tops BBC list of world’s most expensive cities

Is there anything remotely surprising about the fact that Singapore, our beloved homeland, is an expensive city?

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 10.01.35 amSource

Not really.

So maybe we can’t be the world’s most liveable city, or the best place to retire; but now we can at least tell our expat angmoh/PRC peers that we are first for something: World’s Most Expensive City, as awarded by the BBC.

However, the results are meant to be used by expatriates for them to find out the relative costs in moving from one city to another. So do these results still apply for locals? MustShareNews finds out.

Round 1: Singapore vs New York

Grocery price comparisons were done from our favourite NTUC Fairprice and America’s Walmart.

1. Cornflakes


Singapore: $3.55 for 275g

America: USD $3.28 = $4.48 for 680g.

Who’s more expensive: Singapore

2. Chips


Singapore: $4.25 for 184g

America: USD $2.98 = $4.07 for 255g.

Who’s more expensive: Singapore

3. Ferrero Rocher


Singapore: $10.90 for 300g (offer price)

America: USD $9.67 = $13.20 for 300g.

Who’s more expensive: America, but only because Singapore had an offer.

4. Housebrand Eggs


Singapore: $2.20 for 10 eggs from Pasar

America: USD $4.68 = $6.39 for 12 house brand organic eggs

Who’s more expensive: America, because it’s organic. A search on ‘organic eggs’ on the Fairprice website turned up no matching results.


5. Coca-Cola

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Singapore: $4.45 for a 6-can pack

America: USD $1.98 = $2.70 for the same pack

Who’s more expensive: Singapore

6. H&M

Quilted jacket:

quilted jacketSource

Singapore: $59.90

America: USD $34.95 = $47.70

Who’s more expensive: Singapore

Jersey Top:


Singapore: $19.90

America: USD $12.95 = $17.68

Who’s more expensive: Singapore

7. Zara



Singapore: $139

America: USD $99.90 = $136.35

Who’s more expensive: Singapore



Singapore: $139

America: USD $99.90 = $136.35

Who’s more expensive: Singapore

8. Electricity


Singapore: 23.29¢ per kilowatt

America: USD 12.46¢ = 17¢ per kilowatt

Who’s more expensive: Singapore

9. Public Transport

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Singapore: uses distance fares


America: uses flat rates

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Who’s more expensive: Debatable

10. Durians



Singapore: $10 per kg (Teo Boon Teck durians)

America: USD $2.29 = SGD $3.13 per pound = $6.89 per kg (Los Angeles)

Who’s more expensive: Singapore, but I would take Singapore’s durian quality over L.A’s any day.

Round 2: Singapore vs Seoul

So now that we’ve roundly demolished the angmoh competition, it’s time to take the party to our fellow Asian countries; and who better than Seoul, our nemesis in challenging for the title of World’s Best Airport?

Grocery comparisons were done between NTUC Fairprice and this Korean online site.

1. Cookies


Singapore: $5.20 for 496g

Korea: 7500 won = $9.33 for same size

Who’s more expensive: Korea

2. Laughing Cow


Singapore: $4.95 for 140g

Korea: 6250 won = $7.77 for the same size

Who’s more expensive: Korea

3. Nutella


Singapore: $3.95 for 375g

Korea: 8990 won = $11.18 for 400g

Who’s more expensive: Korea

4. Campbell’s Soup


Singapore: $1.80 for 305g can

Korea: 2990 won = $3.72 for same can

Who’s more expensive: Korea

5. Pull&Bear

Denim Jacket:

denim jacketSource

Singapore: $69.90

Korea: 49,000 won = $60.92

Who’s more expensive: Singapore

Striped Shirt:

striped shirtSource

Singapore: $49.90

Korea: 39,000 won = $48.49

Who’s more expensive: Singapore

6. iPhone

We compare the iPhone 6, Space Grey, 64GB version.


Singapore: $1,148

Korea: 980,000 won = $1218.48

Who’s more expensive: Korea (makes sense to deter people from buying Apple products and steer them towards home-grown Samsung phones instead)

7. Samsung

Product of comparison: Note 3 32GB LTE


Singapore: $838 from Challenger

Korea: 400,000 won = $497.34 from an online Korean Facebook page

Who’s more expensive: Singapore

8. Plastic Surgery

We enquired about double eyelid surgery at a Korean clinic and famous Singaporean surgeon Woffles Wu.

Woffles Wu:

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ID Hospital:

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2.5 million Korean won = SGD 3108.36

Who’s more expensive: Singapore

9. Air Travel

To make the comparison as fair as possible, we calculated flights made on each country’s national carrier, i.e Singapore Airlines and Korean Air; from Singapore to Korea and vice versa. Other factors were kept constant.

Singapore Airlines: Singapore to Seoul

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Seoul to Singapore:

KRW 742,900 = SGD 923.68

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Korean Air: Singapore to Seoul

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 4.58.45 pmSource

Seoul to Singapore:

KRW 560,300 = SGD 696.65

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Who’s more expensive: Singapore

10. Durians

Hehe hehe.


Singapore: $10 per kg (Teo Boon Teck durians)


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KRW 30,000 = $37.30

KRW 25,000 = $31.08

Who’s more expensive: Debatable, since there’s no mention of weight of the Korean durians.

What these all mean

We’re definitely not trying to promote the culture of competition here. This post is simply a light-hearted comparison of everyday items (unless you hate durians) between two different developed cities; one Western and one Asian. But hey, we still won ok.

If you still begrudge Singapore for being too expensive, there’s always the neighbourhood Valudollar shop to ease some of that pain.


Is Singapore getting too expensive?

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Featured Image via Dorm Room Fund, Panoramio
With reference to BBC