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Dubai launches new initiative to open up property investment market

Real Estate Investment Opportunities initiative aims to attract ‘a larger segment of investors, both inside and outside the UAE’

Dubai Land Department (DLD) on Tuesday announced the launch of a new initiative which aims to attract a wider range of real estate investors to the emirate.

Under the Real Estate Investment Opportunities (REIOs) initiative, several investment products will be launched including collective real estate investment funds, partial title deeds procedures to register units owned by a number of partners, a lease-to-own system and investment portfolio applications.

A law is currently being drafted for real estate investment portfolios that is still under accreditation and review by the concerned parties, DLD said in a statement.

The launch comes as Dubai witnessed an 8 percent increase in real estate transactions during the first quarter of 2019 to AED119 billion compared to the year-earlier period.

DLD added that the number of active investors reached 2,800 during the quarter with a “large number of new investors” entering the Dubai real estate market for the first time.

Sultan Butti bin Mejren, director general of DLD, said: “We are proud to launch a new investment package that enhances the attractiveness of Dubai’s real estate environment, reaching a wider horizon of global leadership through which we will formulate new visions, especially with Expo 2020 around the corner.

“Unveiling REIOs reflects the positive impact of innovative ideas in the real estate sector.”

A special office has been approved at DLD to facilitate and unify all registration and follow-up procedures for this initiative, he added in a statement.

DLD said it will also approve a set of special privileges relating to real estate registration and its terms, and a special electronic contact website will be established.

Marwan bin Ghalita, CEO of Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA), said: “This initiative will help us emerge from the traditional patterns of property buying, selling, and registration. These processes require us to embrace technology and change, both of which paved the path to launching real estate products with the participation of developers to attract new investors.

“Previously, the real estate market targeted a certain class of investors – the wealthy. Today, however, through these four products, we seek to cover a larger segment of investors, both inside and outside the UAE, and allow them to own properties in Dubai and benefit from high returns on investments.”

Source: arabianbusiness

Decoding Lucknow’s Sustainable Urban Development and livability

Ranked first in the second round of selection of 13 smart cities, Lucknow smart city project commenced from 2016 with the formation of Lucknow smart city limited, the special purpose vehicle (SPV).Within four years of the launch of smart city mission, Lucknow is in the progress of transforming the art city to smart city, writes Sreetama Datta Roy and Arpit Gupta of Elets News Network (ENN).

Lucknow, the City of Nawabs is rapidly transforming towards a Smart City with focus towards a sustainable urban development. Ranked first in the second round of selection of 13 Smart Cities, Lucknow Smart City project commenced from 2016 with the formation of Lucknow Smart City Limited, the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV).

With a primary aim to transform the Art City to Smart City, the SPV identified the potential areas of challenge and addressed the issues on a priority basis. Darashaw & Co. Pvt. Ltd., the official consultant of the Lucknow Smart City Limited created an action plan which was executed by the city officials and urban planners.

The Lucknow Smart City not only helps in developing the city’s infrastructure, but the focus is on a sustainable and all inclusive development plan.

FOUR PILLARS OF LUCKNOW SMART CITY – THE STRATEGIC PLAN

The four pillars on which the base of Lucknow Smart City’s strategic plan is laid are:

Jeevant Lucknow (Livable Lucknow): Providing better and sustainable infrastructure facilities to citizens.

Sugam Lucknow (Mobility Lucknow): Improvising the new age transport and mobility factorising the day-to-day life of citizens through technologically enhanced Integrated Traffic Management System (ITMS), Smart Mobility Solutions among others.

Lucknow (Clean Lucknow): Improving health, hygiene and sanitation practices for maintaining the wellness quotient for city’s citizens.

Samruddh Lucknow (Prosperous Lucknow): Ensuring prosperity through leveraging on the historic city’s heritage, culture, handicraft, cuisine and connectivity to develop tourism which would further facilitate direct or indirect employment.

Describing further on the smart mobility systems planned in the city, Dr Indramani Tripathi, Municipal Commissioner, Lucknow Municipal Corporation & Chief Executive Officer, Lucknow Smart City Limited says, “The ITMS would enable junction improvement, intelligent traffic signals using traffic sensors. There is a provision of variable message signs, pelican crossing, augmentation on and strengthening of the existing command centre.”

He also adds, “There are smart solutions for existing parking spaces, an electronic ticketing system and ICT for city bus services. There is also provision for a GPS-based bus tracking system (automatic vehicle tracking system), CCTV cameras on board, on board display panels, automatic fare collection system and bus operation command centre, smart bus shelters, passenger information system, ticket vending machine and water ATMs.”

Innovative measures introduced for transforming Art City to Smart City

According to the Lucknow Smart City Limited CEO, a number of projects are underway which contributes towards the vision of the Lucknow Smart City. The projects are classified into three categories based on the means of finance, which are Smart City Mission only (SCM), Public Private Partnership (PPP) and Convergence.

The projects which have already been completed and implemented are based on IT/ICT, waste management, power generation, energy conservation among others.

IT & ICT INNOVATIONS BY LUCKNOW SMART CITY

WiFi Hotspots – Under the complete SCM projects, Lucknow Smart City Limited has installed WiFi hotspots across areas like Jhandewala Park Aminadab, Kargil Shaheed Park, Jhandi Park, Lal Bagh, Butler Park, Rampal Singh Park and Gandhi Setu to Ambedkar Setu, River Front.

ICT for Bus Services – Within this project, GPS devices have been installed in all the buses of the city. The implementation of the ICT solution software has been made to improve the quality of transportation services. This further facilitates access to realtime arrival information to commuters. Lucknow Smart City Limited has installed City Bus App ‘CHALO’ in January this year.

One Lucknow Unified Smart Mobility Card – The One Lucknow Unified Smart Mobility Card enables citizens to use a single card at all the mobility locations including City Bus, Metro and City Parking etc. Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation has introduced unified mobility card for metro services which is integrated to services of Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) and Lucknow City Transport Services Limited (LCTSL).

Safety and Surveillance Measures – Within this project, PTZ and CCTV cameras are installed across the city under the flagship project ‘Drishti’. “One PTZ camera and five CCTV cameras have installed in ABD area. Further SP MCR had identified 10 locations of which one falls in ABD area and sent to Reliance for installation of cameras free of cost,” states Lucknow Smart City Limited.

WASTE MANAGEMENT INITIATIVES

Integrated Solid Waste Management System – Under this project, door-todoor collection of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), Secondary Waste collection from designated points, Transportation of MSW from secondary collection points to Process Plant, O&M of Process Plant to produce Compost & RDF and setting up a 15 MW Waste-to-Energy Plant using RDF as fuel are enabled.

Portable Compactor Transfer Station (PCTS) – A Portable Compactor is an integral Unit installed on street corners for localised garbage collection, comprising of a Compactor and a Container Body Mounted on a frame with rollers and is designed to be transported by specially designed Hook Loader Unit, which is driven to the dumping ground/processing plant for discharge of compacted garbage.

Waste ATMs – In an innovative measure, the Lucknow Municipal Corporation has installed Waste ATMs in eight locations across the city where people can deposit trash in the designated green and white kiosks and get Re 1 per plastic bottle, Rs 2 for a glass bottle, 50 paisa for a can and 20 paisa per wrapper, paper/cups.

POWER GENERATION

Roof Top Solar Panel – This project envisages installing 178 KW roof top solar power plant at Veerangana Avanti Bai Women Hospital and selling the power generated to the hospital at a tariff of Rs 3.91 per unit.

Energy Efficient Street Lighting – Installation of energy efficient street lighting is managed based on real time requirement of light and automated controls that make adjustments based on conditions such as occupancy or daylight availability. The smart project also does real time tracking and management of street lights, automatic lighting and adjustment based on human presence and delivers automatic status updates or failure alerts to remote servers.

PROJECTS IN PIPELINE

There are several projects in pipeline which are either in progress of tenders have been afloat. Some such projects are Integrated Traffic Management System (ITMS), Smart Parking, Smart Metering, improving sewerage and drainage systems, restoration of heritage building to name a few.

The Lucknow Smart City Limited and Lucknow Municipal Corporation are analysing each project in pipeline and coming up with tentative timelines.

Way Forward towards a Smart yet Sustainable Lucknow

According to Sanyukta Bhatia, Mayor, Lucknow, while the Government is being instrumental in implementing policies and plans towards Smart City Mission and has launched campaigns like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, it is for the citizens to maintain a clean and sustainable ecosystem. She emphasised that the awareness should be there within the people and the zeal to keep the city clean and beautiful should be within the very conscience of the people. “We aim towards an all inclusive development and without the cooperation of all citizens, we cannot achieve our goal,” Bhatia says.

Source: Egov

Southern Voice Case Studies Analyze SDGs 4, 7, 8 in Six Countries

12 July 2019: The research network Southern Voice launched six SDG case studies at an event on the sidelines of the 2019 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). The case studies are part of Southern Voice’s ‘State of the SDGs’ research initiative, and focus on three of the global Goals: SDG 4 (quality education); SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy); and SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth).

The six country case studies explore experiences with implementing these Goals in Bolivia, Ghana, India, Nigeria, Peru and Sri Lanka. The Bolivia case study illustrates the country’s challenges in monitoring education outcomes (SDG 4), and assesses the synergies and trade-offs between access to education and other development progress. For example, gains in school attendance have not contributed to reducing poverty (SDG 1) nor to reducing income inequality (SDG 10). Further, although education returns are almost twice as high for women than for men, women typically earn less than men for all levels of education.

The Ghana case study examines the role of development partnerships in supporting the country’s progress towards clean and affordable energy for all (SDG 7), and underscores how progress in this area can contribute to other SDGs, including SDG 13 (climate action). The case study finds that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are projected to increase to 13.3 million metric tons if Ghana’s rural areas continue to use polluting household fuels. The case study also highlights differences in clean energy use between urban and rural areas in Ghana; in rural Ghana, only 6% of households use clean fuels for cooking, compared to 35% of urban households.

The India case study examines the conditions that prevent women from accessing decent and equal employment (SDG 8). It underscores the role of social structures in perpetuating gender discrimination in India. The case study finds that access to education does not shape women’s entry into employment; rather, their participation in the labor market is limited by social norms and safety conditions in public spaces. For example, when a family’s income rises, women are discouraged from working; marriage, motherhood and care responsibilities also restrict women’s access to the labor market.

The Nigeria case study analyzes the impact of conflict and violence on SDG 4, finding that violence causes students and teachers to flee their homes. The case study underscores the difficulties in quantifying education challenges for internally displaced children, nomadic peoples and the disabled, who are often excluded from education and are not included in data.

The Peru case study focuses on education and employment, finding that some groups have benefited less from access to education. As students in Peru advance between grades, female students lag further behind.

The Sri Lanka case study examines the impacts of global adoption of advanced technology on the national labor market, including economic shifts and potential job losses. The case study emphasizes that workers with higher levels of expertise and knowledge are less likely to be replaced by technology than workers with only manual skills.

In a keynote address at the launch event on 12 July 2019, former President of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla said progress on the SDGs will come “from working with the people and not just for the people.” Southern Voice presented the country case studies for participants’ consideration. The discussion focused on leaving no one behind, synergies and trade-offs, and global systemic concerns in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Southern Voice will reflect the event conclusions in the forthcoming ‘Global Report on the State of the SDGs,’ which will be launched in September 2019 on the sidelines of the SDG Summit.

Southern Voice is a network of more than 50 think tanks from Africa, Asia and Latin America, which serves as an open platform for discussing the 2030 Agenda.

Source: Catherine Benson Wahlen

 

Alaro City bags master plan award

The new mixed-use Lagos development, Alaro City, a joint venture between the Lagos State Government and Rendeavour, has been named winner of the international Architizer A+ Popular Choice Award in the master plan category.

The city’s master plan, according to the promoters, was shortlisted from a range of large-scale international projects and was the only entrant from the African region.

The Chief Executive Officer of Alaro City, Odunayo Ojo, said the award was a testament to the fact that the developers were building a city that Nigeria would be proud of in such a vibrant and unparalleled metropolis like Lagos.

“We were honoured to be nominated alongside complex projects such as the Amazon HQ2 supersite in Dallas and the 5M project in San Francisco,” he said.

Inaugurated in January 2019, Alaro City is planned as a 2,000-hectare mixed-use city that will include industrial and logistics locations, complemented by offices, homes, schools, health care facilities, hotels, entertainment and 150 hectares of parks and open spaces.

Ojo stated that the ArchitizerA+Awards, in its seventh year, is an internationally acclaimed programme focused on promoting and celebrating the year’s best architecture, adding that the ‘popular choice’ winners were selected through public online voting after a 10-day campaign with more than 400,000 votes from over 100 countries.

He explained that Alaro City’s master plan was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, one of the largest architecture and urban planning organisations in the world.

The Director at SOM City Design Practice, Daniel Ringelstein, said the Alaro City master plan was designed in a way that would protect and enhance the unique conditions of the site while enabling long-term resilience for the future city.

He said, “Alaro City helps strengthen Lagos’ position as the economic and cultural hub for West Africa by creating a new mixed-use model sustainable community – a place for people to work, make, live, and learn.”

UN-Habitat, firm launch initiative for investors’ urban projects

With the world’s urban population increasing, the need to invest in urban communities has never been more urgent.

This is particularly the case in low and middle-income countries where the pace of urbanization is fastest.

To meet Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 – to make cities more sustainable, resilient, inclusive and safe – governments will need to develop more urban infrastructure including thousands of new affordable housing developments and integrated urban regeneration projects. But of course, these tasks are pricey, and will require collaborative action from government leaders, urban planners, and private investors.

To drive this collaborative action, UN Habitat convened over 400 business leaders and policy makers at its recent Habitat Assembly for the Business Leaders Dialogue. Here, the discussions centred on identifying and addressing the barriers to generating and developing viable sustainable urban infrastructure projects.

One of the key initiatives announced at this event was the Capital Advisory Platform – a newly designed initiative jointly implemented by UN Habitat and the Global Development Incubator that aims to connect investors with sustainable and bankable urban development projects. If successful, this platform will generate a pipeline of investable deals while also building capacity across governments and multilaterals.

One of the key pillars to the success of this platform will be access to data. The Director at the Global Development Incubator, Alice Gugelev said that to unlock capital, investors need to see the data first.

Addressing the Habitat Assembly, Alice said, “While the need for more investments in sustainable urban development is distinct, the reality is that without data to inform investors which deals are investable, the public sector will not be able to raise the necessary capital alone. Data transparency, combined with private sector resources, will be critical to unlocking investments for a more sustainable urban community.”

The immersion of Capital Advisory Platform and the dialogue facilitated at the UN Habitat Assembly demonstrates a growing level of engagement from the private sector and commitment to future collaboration. UN-Habitat Director of External Relations, Christine Musisi, said that to address Sustainable Development Goals 11 and 17, the UN system and other public actors would need to leverage partnerships with the private sector.

“The Capital Advisory Platform is a key pillar to the UN Habitat’s commitment to cross-sector partnerships and corporate business engagement. By bringing together government leaders and private investors onto one platform – we can mobilize significant capital towards sustainable urban development and translate urban planning needs of governments into a pipeline of bankable projects for investors.”

Housing Microfinance can Help Poor People Build Better Homes

Whenever michael jjoga earns some money from his welding business, he buys a bag of cement. Brick by brick he has built a two-roomed house for his family on land he cleared himself in Wakiso district, in central Uganda. Another house stands half-finished nearby until he collects enough iron sheets to make a roof. Across the glade a chorus of bleats drifts from a crumbling hut, shaped from thatch and earth. He used to live in it; now it shelters his goats.

By 2025 some 1.6bn city dwellers will be living without decent, affordable housing, according to consultants at McKinsey. Many more people lack adequate shelter in the countryside. While governments and private developers fall short, people like Mr Jjoga are building houses themselves.

They construct in stages, over years or even decades, preferring to buy a stack of bricks than to put money in a bank. Some move in well before completion. Lenders long overlooked this self-help model, but financed it unwittingly: perhaps a fifth of microloans to businesses are thought to be diverted into housing.

Now some lenders are starting to target this market directly. Conventional mortgages are rare in developing countries: in Uganda, which has 40m people, there are only 5,000. Instead, banks and microlenders offer smaller housing loans, paid back over shorter periods of 1-3 years. A family might borrow for a cement floor, and then for an extra room. Two-thirds of the firms offering housing microfinance entered the sector in the past decade, according to a global survey in 2017 by Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit organisation.

Many borrowers lack land titles to use as collateral. Swarna Pragati, an Indian microlender, gets around the problem by establishing de facto ownership through village meetings. Select Africa, which operates in east and southern Africa, offers unsecured housing loans to salaried workers, deducting repayments from their pay cheques. Centenary Bank in Uganda accepts untitled land as security. Robert Canwat, its microfinance manager, says attachment to home makes the whole family monitor repayment. “Everybody becomes your recovery officer,” he smiles. Most lenders report that housing loans are paid back more reliably than other products in their portfolio.

Houses built incrementally by local artisans are often shoddy. Some lenders try to improve them by providing technical support, such as sample plans or an engineer’s advice. Others help borrowers buy appliances such as solar panels and water filters. One promising innovation is iBuild, an Uber-like app in parts of Africa and Asia. It connects households to builders and suppliers, allowing them to compare quality and price as well as to apply for loans.

Finance also comes directly from suppliers. cemex, a Mexican cement giant, offers credit through its Patrimonio Hoy programme. Customers pay a weekly fee. In return they get technical advice and advance delivery of building materials. The scheme has reached 600,000 households and extended more than $300m of loans since 1998.

Unlike business loans, which can be paid back out of greater profits, lending for housing creates no obvious income stream. But home ownership frees borrowers from paying rent. And some borrowers use loans to build rental units, shops or even schools. “Think of the house as a place from where the household earns money,” says Kecia Rust of the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa, a think-tank.

Habitat for Humanity recently commissioned two evaluations of microfinance products it had developed with lenders in east Africa. In Uganda, the likelihood that a household had a separate kitchen rose by 22% after taking out a loan. In Kenya, borrowers upgraded their roofs and walls. In both cases satisfaction with housing rose, though stress levels and school attendance were unchanged. Repayment rates have been high. “We’ve proved there’s a business case,” says Kevin Chetty of Habitat.

Microcredit is expensive, because lenders must assess risk and monitor repayment on even the tiniest amount. Housing loans are usually larger than business ones, so processing them is proportionally cheaper. But they also have longer maturities, which means lenders must chase scarce long-term funding.

Throw in ponderous law courts and weak competition, and annual interest rates typically reach 20-35%. Some homebuilders are certainly eager for credit. But until such structural problems are addressed, others will keep doing things the old way—even if that means waiting longer to put a decent roof over their heads.

Construction of US $286m Ongos Housing Project in Namibia to Begin

Namibia is set to commence construction works on Ongos housing project valued at US $286m. Ongos Valley Development director Americo de Almeida announced the reports and said that a ground-breaking ceremony is expected to take place end of this month.

Last year Ongos Valley Development launched a housing project with a promise to construct 30 000 housing units over 15 to 20 years as of this year. The aim of the project is to alleviate the critical housing shortage in Windhoek for the low- to middle-income households by undertaking a large-scale, cost-effective development, driven by private initiative and supported by government.The project will be  a green village self-contained area with schools, hospitals, police stations and a cemetery, among other services.

It will supply more than 25 000 housing units for the low- and middle-income classes, four business centres including 106 business plots, 48 institutional plots, and over 20% of the development dedicated to public and conservation open areas. Development Bank of Namibia, Absa, Nedbank, Standard Bank and Development Corporation of Botswana will finance the development.

Phase one of the project will involve construction of 4 500 houses over a period of five years. The prize of the houses will range from US $21000 to US $57000. Corporate Investment Banking and Treasury Karl-Stefan Altmann said that about 4 000 direct and 9 000 indirect jobs would be created.

In terms of regulatory requirements, de Almeida confirmed everything has been addressed and they  have already signed a development agreement that allows them to start physical construction. He added that the contractor Octagon Construction is set to take possession of the site to start site establishment.

Source: constructionreviewonline

Shelter Afrique calls for establishment of housing microfinance fund

Source: KBC

Osinbajo inaugurates 650 housing units project in Delta

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Friday, inaugurated 650 affordable housing units comprising 192 one-bedroom, 230 two-bedroom semi-detached terrace and 228 three-bedroom bungalows near Asaba.

The VP accompanied by Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa had earlier visited the Asagba of Asaba, Prof. Chicken Edozie.

He arrived at the Housing Estate located in Aniocha North Local Government Area at about 6:30 pm, performed the ceremony and felicitated with the host community and the monarchs of the people.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the project which was started in February 2018 with initial N500 billion capital was funded by the Family Homes Funds, a social housing initiative of the Federal Government.

The fund with the initial shareholding by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) and Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), was to raise another N800 billion from Direct Foreign Investment (DFI) as a partner, to finance the program.

NAN reports that the fund’s objective is to work with partners to create 500,000 new homes and 1.5 million jobs by 2023.

The fund’s current program comprises 3,600 housing units now under construction in five locations and another further 21,600 homes to be completed across the country.

Source: The Guardian

China’s Diverging Housing Market— Massive Price Gap Between Cities Up To A Thousand Times

For average working professionals in Beijing, Shanghai, or Hong Kong, buying a place for themselves would be a mission impossible. With skyrocketing housing price and relatively low incomes, it is destined that most working professionals will not have a chance to afford a place in the cities that they work hard in.

 

Yet in the other parts of the country, housing markets seem to be on the total opposite: With low demand and shrinking population, these houses are now on the list for 50% off discount, and some of them even start to worth less than $3,000 for a whole department.

Hegang, a city located in the Northeastern Heilongjiang province of the country, became one of the most prominent examples of the declining housing markets in China’s less developed regions. A 46 square meter apartment is only listed at 16,000 RMB, a value that is less than $3,000. Imagine that you can buy an apartment in urban areas with merely one-month salary, here you have it, in China’s shrinking smaller cities.

The devastating housing market in Hegang reminds people of the past disastrous history in Erdos, where real estate businesses’ over-expansions led the city into a ‘ghost-town’. With supplies overweigh the limited demands of houses in the city, Erdos’ housing market failed completely as a result of poor management and overestimation of the city’s consumption capacity.

The housing market in Hegang showed complete different pictures from those in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. It leaves people confused and baffled. The inequality and the differences in prices are too large to explain, and a 50 square-meter apartment in Beijing is simply just too different from that 50 square-meter apartment in smaller cities.

Several factors and reasons could potentially explain the declining housing prices in Hegang. The outflow of capitals and population are the main factors that drove down the housing prices. With fewer demands and fewer job opportunities, urban residents are leaving the town for better jobs with better pays.

Families that are moving away would not only be out of the buyers’ market, but will also be actively engaged in selling their old houses to cash out from a city that they would not go back to. With more and more people flooding into larger cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, or locally speaking, Harbin, houses in the county-size town are certainly becoming increasingly less attractive.

Yet different from the case of Erdos, in which the real estate businesses are becoming the essential party to blame, situations in Hegang is simply an ongoing trend that is gradually taking place in China. County-size cities are dying as larger cities are easing up its household registration requirements. With better infrastructure, education, and job opportunities in larger cities, smaller ones are losing out in this competition and are on their paths to diminish and eventually, fade out.

It is also a different process than urbanization, where excessive labour forces are mobilized to leave the rural areas for jobs in the city. The ongoing migration trend that is happening in China are between-cities: From smaller cities to larger ones, and from regional centers to the national centers. It is a form of chain migration, where everyone wants to make a step up to go to a city that is better than the one their past generations resided in.

This is becoming a trend of centralization, where young talents are moving towards economic centers and regional centers for better opportunities and potentially an opportunity to stay. The process of centralization provides two different scenarios in the housing markets on the two diverging ends: In smaller cities, where people emigrate out of, housing markets are starting to shrink and eventually vanish.

On the other end of the market, houses in metropolitan areas such as Beijing and Shanghai are never short of buyers. Even with strict purchasing restrictive policies and tough requirements to obtain a local household registration status, housing prices in cities such as Beijing and Shanghai will not likely to decline in the short run.

These cities, with limited areas and land, will eventually turn into a Hong Kong style housing market: A family of four may be forced to settle in a very small apartment, and the land size per capita will be decreasing drastically.

The increasing inequalities is leaving people’s life in very uncomfortable positions. While all good opportunities are in the economic centers, staying in the city and buying a place of their own is becoming a mission impossible, let alone the stringent requirements to become an actual Beijinger, a person with valid Beijing area household registration status. Yet on the other hand, it does not take long for people to realize that moving to a smaller city will significantly decrease one’s standard of living in a rapid pace.

In order to have an organic and sustainable economy, China needs to do a better job in balancing the developments in different regions. While the country is successful in building up world-class cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, the local and central government now needs to invest to ensure that other regional centers are with the same capacity to become future potential economic hubs that can generate well-paid jobs and attractive opportunities

Source: pandaily

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