Property boom threatens old Beijing – Jonathan Watts

As the Olympics fast approach, and old Beijing is rapidly being torn down to make way for new construction, a traditional siheyuan was reportedly sold for 110 million RMB:

 Sys-Images Guardian Pix Pictures 2007 04 16 BeijingDespite government measures to cool growth, the 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]

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