China in a Dilemma as Home Prices Soar

From ABC News:

Like many Chinese who covet real estate as a symbol of stability and social stature, Zhang is dismayed at the alarming climb of apartment prices in his adopted city of in southern China.

“People can’t afford new flats anymore,” said Zhang, 28, who drives a taxi to make ends meet after his small electronics factory went belly-up during the financial downturn last year.

“It’s a very distant goal for us. Something we can only dream about,” said the spiky-haired native of Hubei province, who takes home around 6,000 yuan ($880) in cab fares a month. He likes to joke that he now has to work three months just to buy one square meter (three feet) of residential space in the city’s suburbs.

As one of millions of workers gravitating to China’s major cities in search of work and opportunity, Zhang’s plight mirrors the dilemma faced by many Chinese who are beneficiaries of the country’s economic rise, but who are nevertheless finding it increasingly difficult to own a roof over their heads.

February 17, 2010 10:42 AM
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Categories: Economy, Main, Society