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Young Chinese leave big expensive cities due to soaring housing prices | Updated: 2017-04-11 13:26

Soaring housing prices are driving people out of the country's first-tier cities – Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, a new survey shows.

The Social Survey Center of China Youth Daily recently surveyed 2,000 people, who were either currently or had previously worked or studied in first-tier cities about their plans.

The survey found more than 70 percent had left or were planning to move away.

About 23 percent of respondents had already left the first-tier cities and about 48 percent were planning to leave. Only 21.5 percent were not thinking about leaving, and 7.5 percent hadn't decided.

High house prices was named by 64 percent as their main reason for leaving, while high cost of living (46.9 percent), poor air environment, hard work, difficulty getting a hukou and traffic congestion were listed as other reasons.

Feng Qian, who graduated from Peking University four years ago, now works at a bank in Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei province. He said he left Beijing because of how difficult it is to get a hukou.

If people left the first-tier cities, 46.7 percent said they would go to capital cities of provinces, regions or other municipalities. About a quarter would head to prefecture-level cities, while some preferred county towns.

However, the survey also found that 32.4 percent of respondents who had left the first-tier cities had since returned.

Zhai Bing, 28, who worked as a property salesperson in Shanghai for five years before returning to a county town in Henan province two years ago, is now back in Shanghai working for an online shop.

She said she could not bear the complicated relationships among people, the low income and boring life in her hometown. Another reason for her return was the poor relationship with her mother-in-law.

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