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The cost of an apartment in Shenzhen is equal to 43.5 times a resident’s average annual salary, making the city’s housing affordability only a notch better than Hong Kong, the worst among 80 megacities, according to E-House (China) Enterprise Holdings Ltd.

The cost of an apartment in Shenzhen is equal to 43.5 times a resident’s average annual salary, making the city’s housing affordability only a notch better than Hong Kong, the worst among 80 megacities, according to E-House (China) Enterprise Holdings Ltd.

Photographer: Yan Cong/Bloomberg
CityLab
Housing

Workers Flocking to China’s Tech Hub Can’t Afford to Buy Homes

Shenzhen’s boom has led to the highest property prices and lowest home ownership rates in China

Hu Jinjin stood for five hours outside a housing project showroom in the August heat, looking to buy a two-bedroom apartment two hours from downtown Shenzhen. The 3.6 million yuan ($550,000) asking price made it one of the city’s most affordable options and would still be a stretch for Hu and her taxi-driver father, but they were eager to get a foothold in China’s least affordable city.

After the long wait, Hu learned the rules had changed: as a migrant worker, she’d have to live and pay taxes in the city for another three years before she could even buy an apartment.