Skyrocketing home prices driven by good schools

Society & Culture

Top society and culture news for February 27, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina news roundup "Chinese private military contractors."

  • Another season of battling for school-district houses has begun — properties sold at 250,000 yuan per square meter / The Economic Observer (in Chinese)
    Though China’s buoyant housing market has started to cool down on a nationwide level, home prices in the country’s best school districts show no signs of deflating. The Economic Observer reports that in late February, one Mr. Xiong in Beijing spent a staggering 12 million yuan ($1.7 million) on a tiny 39-square-meter house in the Jinrongjie District, in the hopes that the property would guarantee his child access to a prestigious elementary school there. According to Xiong, before the purchase, he had checked more than 200 houses and witnessed a buyer purchase a school-area basement apartment at the price of 6.4 million yuan ($931,000), which he thought was “too humid to live in.” A new frenzy of buying basement apartments started after tightened policies on the purchase of alleyway houses, which used to have huge appeal to parents, as they were officially recognized as “houses” that assured the buyers’ children a spot in a good school nearby, despite the fact that most of them are unlivable. On Chinese social media, one of the most upvoted comments reads (in Chinese), “This is a result of a dysfunctional education system and a dysfunctional housing market.”
  • Tan Jing Withdraws from Hunan TV’s Singer 2017 / See Hua Online (in Chinese)
    Tan Jing 谭晶 is a singer in the Song and Dance Ensemble of the People’s Liberation Army and an elected member of the 10th National People’s Congress. On Saturday, she declared her withdrawal from the talent show Hunan TV Singer 2017 on China social media platform Weibo. Previous reports speculated on the reasons behind her withdrawal: was it a disagreement with Hunan TV, or that her song Moonlight in Sailimu that angered people in Xinjiang, or her performance of Yu Shui, a theme song for a banned Cultural Revolution film, or because her husband, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, was guilty of violating certain Party regulations? However, Tan announced that her withdrawal simply caused by a scheduling conflict and copyright issues.