The Julius Baer Lifestyle Index, now in its fifth year, tracks the price of a basket of luxury goods and services, indicating the cost of living in luxury in Asia. For the first time, the 2015 Julius Baer Wealth Report: Asia includes a section dedicated to ‘The Basket of the Future’, discussing how the items in the basket may change over the next ten to fifteen years.

In our ranking of the most expensive markets, Hong Kong and Singapore took second and third place respectively. Topping the index as the most expensive market overall is Shanghai, ranking in the top 4 most expensive cities for thirteen out of the seventeen categories. Overall, the Shanghai market index within our basket was up 3%, though given the volatility of the market over the summer months following the data collection, strong price movements could be in the pipeline for the coming year.

On a pan-Asia basis, in US Dollar terms, the Julius Baer Lifestyle Index rose by 0.42%, while the inflation rate was 3.02%.  Hence the price of luxury goods and services actually rose less than the conventional measures of inflation. The 2014–2015 data collection period experienced seemingly significant swings in our luxury goods and services basket. These fluctuations highlight the importance of considering the ‘The Basket of the Future’ and how the contents of our basket might need to be altered in the coming years to ensure that it continues to accurately reflect the UHNW lifestyle.

Methodology: Julius Baer Lifestyle Index

The Julius Baer Lifestyle Index is based on a basket of 20 luxury goods and services that represent discretionary purchases of High Net Worth Individuals in the region. Current prices for these were sourced from local high-end vendors across eleven major Asian cities: Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Mumbai, Taipei, Bangkok, Jakarta, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul and Tokyo.

Further Information

You are invited to explore the fifth instalment of Julius Baer’s signature research on wealth trends across Asia with the 2015 edition. Your relationship manager will be delighted to provide you with your personal copy (available in English) as well as support when it comes to allocating wealth to this region (subject to local regulatory requirements).