Julius Baer has released its sixth annual Wealth Report: Asia, monitoring the cost of living in luxury and wealth creation trends in Asia. It shows that the cost of luxury living, as defined by the Julius Baer Lifestyle Index, dipped by 1.68% in USD terms in 2016, aggregated across 21 items and 11 Asian cities. Across the cities covered, Shanghai retains the top spot as the most expensive city.
On an aggregate basis and in USD terms, the Julius Baer Lifestyle Index fell by 1.68%, led by a 8.3% correction in property prices on a regional basis. That said, 13 of the 21 items still posted gains for 2016. This demonstrates that for a broad range of luxury goods and services, High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) in Asia face rising lifestyle costs that continue to outpace conventional inflation.
Julius Baer has added a high-end skincare item to the Lifestyle Index of goods and services in 2016. Asia makes up 36% of the global beauty market and it is expected to grow 4.5% every year until 2019, far faster than the global market. Skincare remains the most valuable category in terms of growth potential. The report also features in-depth economic outlook assessments for the key economies in Asia, reinforcing Julius Baer’s long-held view that the region will remain the key driver of wealth on a global basis.
Jimmy Lee, Head Asia Pacific of Bank Julius Baer, said: “This year’s Lifestyle Index demonstrates that there remains enormous demand for luxury goods and services in Asia, but it equally signals that asset price fluctuations can be a potential drag on spending. Getting the right, responsible and forward-looking advice out to clients to manage these ups and downs, preserving and growing their wealth, is our core mission, both for the near and longer term.”
Shanghai most expensive Asian city
Across the 11 cities in Asia under coverage, Shanghai is ranked as the most expensive city. It scored first place for five items (hospital stay, watch, botox, cigars and high-end skin cream) and second for another six (property, wedding banquets, ladies’ handbags, men’s suits, cars and ladies’ shoes). Singapore has overtaken Hong Kong as the second most expensive city in the region.