Interesting article on the Huffington Post about Singapore…

Stagnant wages, immigration fuel Singapore squeeze

SINGAPORE — Singaporean Ramzi Mohamed is tired of sleeping in the living room of the two-bedroom apartment he shares with his mother and older brother.

His problem is that housing prices in the city-state are up almost 70 percent since 2006 while the 29-year-old gym administrator’s monthly salary of 1,200 Singapore dollars ($938) hasn’t budged in five years.

For comparison…1200 SGD a month is our grocery bill, twice our electric bill, or 1/4 our rent.

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13 Responses to Interesting article on the Huffington Post about Singapore…

  1. kirsten says:

    It’s a Hard Truth MM Lee hasn’t mentioned that unless our parents leave us the flats (which are on lease from the govt. for 99 years), a significant portion of my generation will not be able to afford to buy a home of our own.

    • Crystal says:

      I thought that there was some kind of lottery that made them cheap? And the 1% mortgage interest rates…

      Can you talk more in depth about this some time on your blog?

      • kirsten says:

        Sure, I can do that! 🙂 Will have to check up some things with my parents/grandparents… I pretty much assume that I will never have my own so I don’t actually pay THAT much attention to it.

  2. Flora says:

    @Crystal Interesting article indeed. Sheesh a fourth of your rent?! And I thought our rent was steep…

    @Kirsten I had no idea that they are on lease for 99 years… I learn something new about Singapore everyday.

    • Crystal says:

      Keep in mind we have a 3 bedroom about a 15 minute walk from ION Orchard. It was actually a bargain price because of the construction next door. When/if we move, we’re expecting to pay closer to 6k.

    • kirsten says:

      Yeah, there’s a 99-year lease. I’m not sure if they’re changing this policy. It pretty much means that once the 99 years come up the flat goes back to the government… at least that’s what I think it means. I need to look that up.

      • Crystal says:

        It is a weird notion to me. Where the government hasn’t even been in power for 99 years, I wonder if *they* know what they mean by that?

  3. bookjunkie says:

    Your grocery bill really puts things in perspective. thanks for sharing.

    S$1200 was the salary I earned in my first job about 20 years ago. The increases in salary over the years does not keep up with the inflation. Sometimes it all does not seem worth it.

    It’s very scary. I can’t imagine how people will lower incomes survive.

    • Crystal says:

      Thanks for the pingback.

      The grocery bill is something I need to blog about some time. It wouldn’t be so high if we didn’t insist on eating like Americans–eating meat for at least 1 (usually 2) meals per day, 6-7 days a week. Plus we like American food, and all the Easy Mac, US cereals, etc add up. But I’m making a note to write more about it.

      Like I said on your blog, the scary part is that we don’t live a terribly rich lifestyle. We make sacrifices (I’d kill for a car, and I’m worried about how we’ll afford school for E and any other kids if we’re still here when they’re in primary) and while we live within our means, we’re not able to put away as much as we’d like.

      • bookjunkie says:

        even though I like hawker food for the taste and prices I do love my burgers as well 🙂 Thanks for commenting on my blog about this issue. It’s really a top concern for Singaporeans but it’s been suppressed for a long time. It must be so bad now that it’s out in the papers.

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  5. kirsten says:

    Well, I wrote my housing post! 🙂

    Yeah, no one knows what exactly would happen at the end of the 99 years because none of the flats are that old yet. Hehe.

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