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Shanghai, the city where rich Asians pay the most for a luxury lifestyle

Shanghai has also grown more pricey on a relative basis to buy property (although Hong Kong is still most expensive in that regard), hire a lawyer or purchase watches and handbags

Katrina Nicholas & Yoojung Lee | Bloomberg 

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People walk on the bund in front of the financial district of Pudong in Shanghai, China. Photo: Reuters

If you’re a high-net-worth individual in Asia into fine dining, wine, jewelry and luxury skin cream, best not to live in

The Chinese city overtook Hong Kong as the most expensive for a basket of luxury goods and services on a price-weighted basis, according to ’s annual Wealth Report Asia, which tracks spending by the region’s rich.

has also grown more pricey on a relative basis to buy property (although Hong Kong is still most expensive in that regard), hire a lawyer or purchase watches and handbags, the report found. retained its claim as the least-expensive city in Asia -- Malaysia’s capital is the best place to pick up a piano, indulge in cigars or book a hotel suite.

The report, in its eighth year, also introduced a new His & Hers Index to compare the cost of luxury goods for men and women in an attempt to answer the question: Is there a pink tax? Or, does it cost more for a woman to look good versus a man?

It will perhaps come as no surprise to anyone that women’s items cost more on average, with Seoul being the most-expensive city for both male and female luxury goods. This is largely owing to an excise tax of up to 20 per cent on certain imports.

On average, it costs $2,158 more to purchase Julius Baer’s Hers Index relative to the His Index, although the differential is lower -- by $126 -- when a wrist accessory is excluded. The Hers index is skewed higher due to the Cartier Love Bracelet, a diamond-paved and white gold adornment that costs around $48,143 in (or $41,818 in Kuala Lumpur).

At the other end of the spectrum, is the cheapest overall for men’s luxury items while Mumbai is where you want to be shopping if you’re a lady.

In Hong Kong, Julius Baer’s basket of goods and services rose by 2.2 per cent in 2018. The former British colony remains the most-expensive city in Asia to buy residential property or take a business-class flight. However, despite its reputation as being pricey, items such as skin cream, ladies shoes and men’s suits are actually relatively inexpensive.

Julius Baer defines high-net-worth individuals as people with a net investable wealth of $1 million or more, excluding property that is their main residence. Data for the survey was collected during the period from June 2017 to July this year.

First Published: Tue, December 04 2018. 22:22 IST
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