Despite government measures to cool growth, the Beijing housing sector has never been hotter. According to the local media, average prices in the city increased by almost 10% in February. Estate agents claim many luxury homes have doubled in value in three years.
Until a few years ago, most speculators focused on modern apartments in inner-city tower blocks and new villas in the suburbs. But the record-breaking home is an old-style siheyuan (courtyard) in the downtown houhai “back sea” area of the city. [Full text]