Earlier this month, a record 302,000 people attended Singapore’s first Formula One car race in three years. Some forked out $900 for a grandstand seat for three days, while others booked hotel suites overlooking the Marina Bay track for as much as $10,000. Nightclub tables were fetching up to $70,000 per evening.

It was a triumphant moment for the Southeast Asian city-state as it reopened after the pandemic, an indication of its popularity at a time when darker economic moods prevail in many parts of the world, not least in its financial hub rival Hong Kong. Money and people are gushing into Singapore, pushing rents and property prices to unprecedented highs, and sending the cost of a modest Toyota to more than $111,000.

Below the surface, things aren’t quite so rosy. As the government mints new long-term visas to attract more high-paid talent, it faces a delicate balancing act to keep its people happy as the cost of living surges.