Shenzhen’s unaffordable home prices could hurt Beijing’s plan to turn the Greater Bay Area tech hub into model city



a view of a city: Shenzhen has been granted autonomy by Beijing on a wide range of local policies, from land use to hiring global talent. Photo: Xinhua


Shenzhen has been granted autonomy by Beijing on a wide range of local policies, from land use to hiring global talent. Photo: Xinhua

Beijing’s blueprint to develop Shenzhen and showcase it a centrepiece of its economic reform and attract talent could hit a major stumbling block in the form of unaffordable housing prices, say analysts.

As part of a five-year plan to build the city into a “core engine” of reform by 2025, Shenzhen has been granted greater autonomy in using rural land for development purposes. The move, which will ease land supply crunch, is aimed at reining in escalating home prices and making the city more affordable to live. It was speculated that Beijing would give Shenzhen “additional land” by allowing it to absorb some neighbouring towns into its territory, but the central government did not do so.

“Home prices take up a major chunk of the cost of

Read More Read more

Beijing’s Hutong Homes Offer Respite From Bustling City Streets

Many of Beijing’s hutong homes have been replaced by skyscrapers, but some are still in use. 

Photographer: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP via Getty Images 

(This story is part of an ongoing series on the home designs that define cities. Read more here about iconic floor plans in Reyjavik, Hanoi, Brussels, Athens, Sydney, Singapore, London, Berlin, Amsterdam and Paris. Follow our Storythread to have future installments delivered to your inbox.)

Beijingers’ relationship to the hutong is a complicated one.

There’s something to be said for the combination of privacy and small-scale community these traditional courtyard neighborhoods allow for, especially in a city of more than 20 million people. But China’s rapid economic transformation has fundamentally altered hutong life and turned it into more of a rarity, with many courtyards flattened to make way for skyscrapers. For some, efforts to spruce up the hutong have diminished their charm.

Read More Read more