Hung out around Seaworld for the first time in several months and yes, encountered new world order. The path from the Ming Hua to Nvwa now winds under an elevated road, which in turn winds around the new coastline toward the Peninsula housing estates. All this change is being promoted under the slogan “the world I want”, not that moi was asked. The planned changes are extensive, involving park space, high end consumption, and more mega-rises. I suspect all will be quite beautiful, albeit increasing exclusive, for the Universiade.
In vaguely related news (or, how ongoing property speculation might impact my life should we ever get around to buying a condo), I realized that given what we pay in rent, it would take us one year to buy one square meter of our current apartment. Given the size of my apartment, it would take over 90 years for us to buy it at current prices. However, property use rights in Shenzhen are for 70 years from when a building first went on the market. All this means that we would be dead and/or loose property rights before we ever got around to paying off our mortgage.
And we are not alone.
Housing in older parts of Shekou remains relatively cheap (under 20,000 per square meter) because it is inconveniently distant from the city. However, I also rode the new subway line from Yuehai station to Coastal City, which means faster, more reliable access to Shekou and ongoing land speculation. Moreover, housing within the Yucai school cache is as expensive as housing near Shenzhen Experimental and Shenzhen School, and for the same reason: only four schools in the city consistently get students into top high schools and then top universities.
Yes, yes, yes, Shenzhen is going to have to deal with the visceral disconnect between housing costs and salaries. So, here and here for speculation about why prices will continue to rise in 2011 despite the real call to control the housing market. Here for an English walk down memory lane when five years ago Zou Tao organized an internet boycott of Shenzhen’s then (already) too expensive housing. To get a sense of prices for new and second hand homes, today, visit aifang. Note that the “cheaper” homes are located in Baoan, Longgang, Dongguan and even Huizhou! And yes, subway construction continues apace.