Hard to Live in Big Cities

Source: Daqing Daily

The housing price in China surged at its fastest pace in recent 5 years in March. It is good news for real estate developers and brokers, but bad news for home buyers, especially the ones in big cities. Daqing Daily reported that some home buyers in Beijing were enraged by the inordinately increased home price. They protested against it by stopping a developer’s car, after they got the news that the price of two condos they were looking for rose RMB 4000 per square meter, or $54 per square feet in a single day.

Buying a condominium in Beijing or Shanghai is far beyond middle-income class can afford, considering the housing price and their salaries: the median sales price of a condo in Beijing and Shanghai is RMB 20,000 per square meters, or $286 per square feet. At this price, it will cost $286,000 for a two-bedroom condo with 1,000 square feet. This is a huge amount for the middle-income class in China, whose average salary is only around $10,000 per year.

But people are still moving into, or trying to stay in big cities, especially those ambitious young generations. As far as I know, most of my classmates chose to stay in Beijing after their graduation. “Other people will regard me as a failure if I go back to my hometown rather than working in Beijing”, said one of my classmates, before leaving the collage.

Many young college graduates like her are called “ant group” by Chinese media recent years. They share apartments with others to cut living costs. They transfer from the residence to the company, spending 2 to 4 hours on overcrowded buses and subways every day. They live in poor life, but holding the dream of becoming success in the big city-that is also the reason they choose to stay.

Source: Legal Evening, Lin Hui, (法制晚报林晖/CFP)

I came across with this news photo the other day. The 25 year-old girl in the photo is living in a capsule apartment in downtown Beijing. The apartment is called a capsule because of its tiny size-only 100 square feet, without private kitchen or bathroom, only big enough for a twin size bed and a small table. The capsule house is rented $30 to $36 each month, much lower than the other apartments, that’s how it attracts people.

I have no idea how it feels when living in a 100 sq ft apartment, but it must be terrible. I think maybe it is the time for ambitious Chinese young men to turn and walked away from the big cities. They deserve a much better life in their twenty or thirty. They should enjoy the life as well as explore their career, both of which are equally important for the short journey of the life and could be easily achieved in a middle city.

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