- Language Tips
While everyone is trying to cool the real estate market prices for those starting a new life, the cost of a space underground for the dead is surging to incredible heights.
In Beijing, one of China's most significant property markets, the average price of a second-hand property in March remained at 23,361 yuan per square meter, according to statistics from anjuke.com, an online property trading platform. The average price for a new-build is a little lower at 18,647 yuan per square meter.
A luxury cemetery in Xiamen, East China's Fujian province. [Photo/sina.com.cn]
However, the cost of life after death in a cemetery is rocketing.
Taofeng Cemetery in Beijing's suburban area, which is widely believed to be one of the lowest priced in Beijing for urns, costs 25,800 yuan for only 0.7-square meters of land.
The exorbitant price of Beijing's cemeteries has even has forced some residents to seek resting place for the elders in adjacent Hebei province.
Even public cemeteries, financed and operated by the department of civil affairs, the price is also out of reach for most ordinary people. A 0.5-square meter grave in Binghai Ancient Garden Cemetery costs 68,800 yuan, despite the cemetery receiving funding from the Shanghai civil affairs bureau.
In 2011, the internet users ranked the top 10 priciest graves in China. A grave in Anleyuan Cemetery in Xiamen of East China's Fujian province topped the league costing 8 million yuan.
The Xiang'an Cemetery in Guangzhou, Capital of South China's Guangdong province, is reportedly selling a 1.39-square meter grave for 160,000 yuan, 15 times the price of housing in the nearby area.
Another cemetery named The Blessed Place for Repaying prices its grave at 40,000 yuan per square meter for the cheapest one and over 200,000 yuan per square meter for the most expensive.
In some extreme cases, families who cannot afford to buy a small piece of land as a resting place for their deceased even dig a grave and install a tomb in their courtyards or community.
A student in Shanghai reportedly feared going back home as one of her neighbors buried his parents' ashes in the community and installed a tomb. The man justified his move saying "I cannot afford to buy a grave. What can I do?"