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Swiss private bank Julius Baer names Asia the world’s most expensive region and home to the world’s top three most costly cities

After sharing the title of the most expensive city with Paris and Singapore in the 2019 Worldwide Cost of Living survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Hong Kong has once again snapped top spot as the most expensive city for luxury goods and services, according to the Global Wealth and Lifestyle Report by Swiss Private bank Julius Baer. 

Drawing on the Julius Baer Lifestyle Index pioneered in the bank’s Wealth Report Asia, which started in 2011, the new report tracks and compares 20 luxury lifestyle items—from hybrid cars to business class flight tickets to hotel suites—across 28 cities globally, including 10 in Asia, 12 in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) and six in the Americas. 

Once stood for tangible goods, “luxury” has been redefined as “a broad category that includes  services and experiences, from fine dining to new lifestyle trends such as wellness,” says Jimmy Lee, head of Julius Baer Asia Pacific in the report.

See also: Hong Kong Tycoon Cheung Chung-Kiu Snaps Up London's Most Expensive Home For HK$2.1 Billion

The report reveals that Asia is the most expensive region, particularly for residential properties, being home to six of the ten most expensive cities, with the top spot taken by Hong Kong; and also for luxury cars, with eight of the ten most expensive cities in our index. At the same time, Asia is also home to the cheapest city on the list—Mumbai. 

Nonetheless, value can be found even in the most expensive cities. Hong Kong’s residential properties may be notoriously costly, but luxury goods are not specifically taxed. Property and hotels aside, Shanghai is more expensive than Hong Kong when it comes to services. Meanwhile, Tokyo, the third most expensive city, is home to the most expensive hotel suites compared to other countries, yet offers good value for watches and fine wine.

See also: This Is The Most Expensive House For Sale In Hong Kong Right Now