Latest News:  
Beijing   Sunny    21 / 8   City Forecast

Home>>China Society

Housing boom hits unlikely targets outside Beijing

(Xinhua)

12:14, October 02, 2011

CHICHENG, Hebei, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- For a long time, the Chicheng county seat looked like many other small towns in China, with a low skyline and a few intersecting roads.

A few years ago, however, excavators and bulldozers moved into this town of some 50,000 people in the Yanshan Mountains about 280 km from Beijing. Cranes were erected among rows of rundown single-story houses. A construction boom was unloosed, followed a couple years later by the grand opening of several new real estate developments.

In less than a year, the average housing price almost doubled to more than 4,000 yuan (about 625 U.S. dollars) per square meter in Chicheng, a national-level poor county. This year, the county still has 35 villages where people earn less than 200 dollars a year.

"Housing prices have risen in a baffling way. How can we ordinary people afford it?" said a local resident surnamed Guo, who makes a little more than 1,000 yuan (about 156 U.S. dollars) a month.

"I often read in the papers that housing prices in Beijing are high. It never dawned on me the same thing would happen in our little town," said local resident Yue Lichao.

The Chinese government has reiterated it wants to rein in surging property prices. In recent months it has used various mechanisms to dampen housing purchases in cities where real estate prices were rising quickly. The central bank has also raised interest rates three times this year to increase borrowing costs.

The government's efforts have been successful. Property prices in Beijing have stabilized since last year, leaving investors little room for profit. As a result, counties outside Beijing have become a new target for investors.

In Dachang Autonomous County, also in Hebei Province, housing prices are now between 4,000 and 5,000 yuan per square meter, compared with 3,000 yuan a year ago. In Zhuozhou city, housing prices have risen 2,000 yuan per square meter in two years' time.

Housing prices in Chicheng began to surge a year ago when the Hebei provincial government announced a plan to boost development of counties neighboring Beijing.

"Housing prices rose virtually every month in 2010," said Ma Liping, a property salesman. "The price of a mu (about 666 square meters) of land is now as high as 400,000 yuan (about 62,500 U.S. dollars). Many farmers have made a fortune."

Surging housing prices have also affected marriage prospects in Chicheng County. A potential groom who can't afford an apartment in the county seat faces great pressure from the family of the bride-to-be.

"A 80-square-meter apartment costs more than 300,000 yuan (about 47,000 U.S. dollars). It's an astronomical figure for the villagers," said Ni Wenquan, the head of one village. "If the husband-to-be can't afford it, the marriage will be in danger."

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:王金雪)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name

  

Selections for you


  1. National flag raising ceremony held in Beijing

  2. Bluecars for green transport in Paris

  3. Five-month-old twin girls go home - separately

  4. Beautiful music firework show in Shanghai

Most Popular

Opinions

  1. Q&A with Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder
  2. Will China be Europe's savior?
  3. Taiwan arms sales becomes US political spell
  4. Mutual trust needed for nations' common progress
  5. China's SMEs now stranded in credit crunch

What's happening in China

Buzz in ancient city

  1. China calls for boycott on online falsehoods
  2. Typhoon Nesat causes heavy damage in S. China
  3. Immigration law discriminates against maids
  4. Fiancee's attempt to break up is deadly
  5. Grassroots Party devote to rural development

PD Online Data

  1. Challenge to the traditional view of love and marriage
  2. House means happiness? Young Chinese' home-owning dream
  3. Fighting AIDS,China is acting
  4. Worldwide Confusius Institutes
  5. Chinese Qingming Festival