Housing and harmony have never been so closely connected at least in the eyes of researchers in the Chinese capital.
As the political hub of a country that promotes the strategy of "building a harmonious society",Beijingis among the top Chinese cities with the highest housing rates, a phenomenon which researchers yesterday said harmed harmony.
Beijing's housing price growth was the fastest among 70 major cities in China in October. Last month, it fell second only to Shenzhen, a booming southern city close toHong Kong
, according to the latest official statistics.
Prices of commercial houses in Beijing jumped by 16.4 per cent in the third quarter of 2006 year-on- year, compared with 13.7 percent income growth for local residents in the same period.
"The exorbitantly high prices have by far exceeded the purchasing power of most residents and prejudiced their interests," Dai Jianzhong, a researcher with the Beijing Academy of Social Sciences, said yesterday.
In 2005, an average Beijing family would have to use all its income for 11 straight years to pay for a house that could ensure the per capita housing area meet the city's average of nearly 26 square meters, according to Dai, editor-in-chief of the 2007 Social Development Report of China's Capital.