The insane couple? The Olivrys are from America, a country that had the worst housing bubble in its 300 yr history. You would think they are used to rising prices given they have been through this 'mammoth' housing bubble in America. But as I have written the worst housing bubble in America is just farce by Singapore standards. You don't see Singaporeans complaining too much surging property prices and rentals - we are coping well, we are hardened to price increases compared with these softie Americans. But to be fair to the Olivrys, their land lord has been a bit 'too Singaporean', he tripled the rent of their 1800 sq ft apartment from $2400 to $7200 in July sending the Olivrys to the streets hunting for a more affordable place.
What expats see as insane, Singaporeans view as a money making opportunity. Even my neighbor send her children to be looked after by her mom so she can rent out part of her apartment to a South Korean couple.
This is all very amazing because our official inflation rate is only up marginally in the 1st half of 2007 as measured by the CPI . However, if you look at our money supply as measured by M3 it as grown by a whopping 23% - M3 growth exceeding GDP growth is inflationary. Inflation likes to show up in things not measured by the CPI like my breakfast toast, mooncakes, expat rentals in private housing estates, taxi fares, movie tickets etc.
All this is happening as the govt hikes GST to help the poor. The retirees who live on their savings and the lowest 30% of our society who saw their incomes falling will be assigned new challenges and the landlords (of whom the govt is the biggest) will be seeing their bank accounts fattened through almost no physical effort on their part. All this happening while we are having the highest income gap in our history is not a big issue. The Olivrys who probably make a high 5 figure monthly income and are having a hard time in Singapore, that is because they are softie Americans....our citizens are tougher they can cope with $1000 monthly paychecks as prices rise to the moon. While our ministers saw the need to hike their million$ pay by 30-40% to avoid a painful sacrifice ahead of price hikes, they are confident that those on public assistance can cope very well on $290 a month as prices escalate . ...it takes alot of courage for our leaders to have such confidence, they should be saluted for their leadership.