Beijingers richer but unhappier

10:04, April 01, 2010      

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Burden of maintaining living standard leaves some members of the middle class disillusioned

The tens of thousands of Beijingers who are part of the city's growing middle class are developing ever higher expectations in terms of their standard of living, but reaching and maintaining these standards is sucking the joy out of life for an increasing number of them.

Few would doubt that with an annual income of 500,000 yuan ($73,206) Liu Chunhua has the means to lead a privileged life in Beijing. However there aren't many traces of affluence at her home.

The 39-year-old is the CFO of a World Top 500 company's Beijing office. Despite being paid handsomely, she says she still feels she is not rich enough to indulge in a lavish lifestyle just yet.


She uses the majority of her income to pay for the mortgage and maintenance of the seven apartments she had bought in Beijing.

"I have to save to pay the mortgages off," she said.

During weekdays her family stays in a 50-square-meter apartment in Xicheng district, close to one of the city's best primary schools, which her son attends. On the weekends they stay in a bigger apartment in the suburbs, to enjoy a little bit more luxury.

The market prices of Liu's apartments more than tripled during the past few years' real estate boom in Beijing. Selling a few of her apartments would make her a millionaire several times over. But she is apprehensive about such a move.


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(Editor:赵晨雁)

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