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Upper reaches

[ 2011-01-19 09:46]     字号 [] [] []  
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Upper reaches

Reader's question:  

Those in the upper reaches of the Atlanta homebuying market can even purchase the home of the former first lady of Atlanta.

Could you explain "upper reaches"?

My comments:

"Reach" refers to a straight stretch of a river, you know, any straight part between two bends. Upper reaches, plural, hence refer to the area where small rivers and brooks begin to merge into a big river. The big river, for instance the Yangtze, then rolls downward before drifting into the sea. The areas closer to the sea, Jiangsu Province for example, are therefore known as the lower reaches of the river Yangtze.

By analogy, the upper reaches of the Atlanta homebuying market refer to the upscale (more expensive) part of the market. The sentence from the top means this: If you are one of the richer people in Atlanta, you can even afford to buy the home of former first lady of Atlanta.

That home is not as expensive as it used to be.

That type of home used to be beyond the reach, to use that word again, of most except the extreme rich. Now, because of the recession, house prices have fallen so steeply that any rich people of the community may find that particular house fall into their laps, so to speak.

Which is to say, an opportunity like that is hard to come by – go grab it while it's there.

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Go to Zhang Xin's column


About the author:

Zhang Xin(张欣) has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.