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Middle class feels locked out of housing market

[ 2009-08-27 14:19]     字号 [] [] []  
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The lack of public housing available to middle-class families has made a home the most "unreachable" thing in urban China, say experts in the field.

"We suggest the government implement the second housing reform in order to meet the housing demand from the middle classes," said Li Ming, an expert on the Housing Act.

Li added that a proposal to that effect has been sent to the Ministry of Land and Resources and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.

It calls on the government to introduce nonprofit developers that can provide affordable houses for middle-class families, but it does not say how that might be made to work.

Middle-class families make up about half of the urban population. They earn between 150,000 yuan ($22,000) and 300,000 yuan ($44,000) a year, according to figures released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences last year.

Last month, housing reached 14,500 yuan per sq m in Beijing, a 9 percent increase over June's price, according to the China Index Academy.

Throughout China, the cost of housing rose for the fifth straight month in July in 70 large and medium-sized cities, the statistics said.

The direct impact of the "crazy" house prices is that ordinary people cannot afford to buy housing, Li said.

He added that the first housing reform catered to low-income families and rich ones but left out the middle class.

Zhao Jingjing, a 26-year-old employee with a foreign company based in Beijing, said the idea of buying a market-priced home in the city was a joke. She bought her house in Huilongguan, one of the first of the city's 19 low-cost housing projects.


1. Which social group in the article is complaining that purchasing a home is too costly?

2. How much was housing in Beijing last month?

3. Which social groups were catered for in China’s first housing reform?


1. The middle class

2. 14,500 yuan per sq m

3. The lower and upper classes

Middle class feels locked out of housing market

Middle class feels locked out of housing marketBrendan joined The China Daily in 2007 as a language polisher in the Language Tips Department, where he writes a regular column for Chinese English Language learners, reads audio news for listeners and anchors the weekly video news in addition to assisting with on location stories. Elsewhere he writes Op'Ed pieces with a China focus that feature in the Daily's Website opinion section.

He received his B.A. and Post Grad Dip from Curtin University in 1997 and his Masters in Community Development and Management from Charles Darwin University in 2003. He has taught in Japan, England, Australia and most recently China. His articles have featured in the Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, The Asia News Network and in-flight magazines.