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The Cost of Living the Luxe Life Has Fallen — if You Live in Asia

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Asia is already poised to take over from North America as the region of the world with the most multimillionaires. Now Asia’s wealthy are about to see their money go further.

The Wall Street Journal reports that living exceptionally well in Asia cost less this year than it did last year — the first time since 2011 that it has gone down from year to year.

The 2014 Lifestyle Index from Swiss private bank Julius Baer says the cost of living la dolce vita in 11 Asian cities fell 5.3% from 2013 to 2014, the Journal says.

The good news for Asia’s rich owes much to a big dip in top-end property prices, which, for instance, are down about 14% in Hong Kong. The prices of high-end hotel suites, business-class flights and a glass of wine also fell in most of the markets.

What did not fall, though, was the price of getting an education in Asia: going to university in Tokyo is 44% pricier that it was last year. Even in Hong Kong and Shanghai, which saw the lightest increase in tuition, it’s still 22% and 21% more expensive to get a college degree in those cities than it was in 2013.

Meanwhile, in bad news for the truly well-heeled, the price of top-end women’s shoes, including red-soled heels from Christian Louboutin, is still as high as ever.


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Write to Elizabeth Barber at elizabeth.barber@timeasia.com