Manila among cheapest in Asia to live a life of luxury


Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Living a life of luxury can be a bargain in Manila — that is if you compare it to other cities in Asia.

A new ranking by Julius Baer found that Manila is a bargain market for some luxury goods and services compared to 10 other Asian cities.

By how much? Well, an Armani suit will be a third of the price in Manila than if you buy one in Shanghai — the most expensive city in the region.

Buying a diamond engagement ring is 20 percent cheaper in Manila than average, while a roundtrip business class flight to London and New York costs 11 percent less from the city.

Botox treatment is also cheapest in Manila at $153 or a little more than P7,100 in 2015, 27 percent less than the average price in the region. Getting the procedure in Shanghai costs $1,293 or more than P60,000.

“In terms of specific items Manila is the biggest bargain for an Armani men’s suit, botox procedures, jewellery and high-end luxury apartments… Manila is also an extremely attractive place to consider high-end dental treatment and this has been the case for a few years now,” the report said.

Luxury wine, however, is 27 percent more than average in the city. The report also noted that more items are “increasing than seeing decreases in prices” within the index.

“The most prominent changes are in the items of watches (+10%), hotel suite (+15%), and our luxury car (+28%). This is the second year in a row of continued price increases in the hotel and car sector.”

It noted that the economic rise of the Philippines has been overshadowed by its larger neighbors in the region. But added that in recent years the country “has started taking an exciting path.”

The GDP growth of the Philippines was calculated at 6 percent during the data collection period.

Related: Fitch upgrades PH outlook to ‘Positive’

The report tagged the Philippine city as a “bargain set to shine,” but Mumbai got the crown as the cheapest city to live a high-end life.

“Overall in comparison to other Asia markets, Manila is quite a bargain for both goods and services, being in the bottom 3 cities so this increases its potential attractiveness, hence people can live a life of luxury for less in the Philippines than many places in Asia except Mumbai and Jakarta.”

Here is the list of the list of most expensive to cheapest cities, according to Julius Baer Lifestyle Index city ranking by goods and services:

  1. Shanghai
  2. Hong Kong
  3. Singapore
  4. Seoul
  5. Bangkok
  6. Taipei
  7. Tokyo
  8. Kuala Lumpur
  9. Manila
  10. Jakarta
  11. Mumbai

The study based its ranking by comparing the prices of luxury items and services in 11 Asian cities.

(Editor’s Note: $1 = P46.77)

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