Most Chinese Migrant Workers Intent on Buying Real Estate in Their Home Towns

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A new survey indicates that the majority of China’s migrant workers plan to purchase real estate back in their home towns, instead of in the big cities where they earn a living.

The “2017 – 2018 Report on Returning Home to Purchase Real Estate” (2017~2018返乡置业报告) released by property company Anjuke indicates that 59% of migrant workers surveyed hope to go back to their places of origin to buy houses.

Amongst those survey respondents who indicated that they would like to purchase real estate in their home towns, over half were above the age of 30, while 81% were part a couple, making the need to buy property for raising a family appear more exigent.

According to the report 80% of migrant workers hail from third and fourth-tier cities or surrounding counties, yet nearly 70% pursue work in China’s first and second-tier urban centres.

The exorbitant cost of real estate in China’s major cities is one of the chief reasons for the widespread desire amongst migrant workers to buy real estate in their home towns, alongside a desire to improve living conditions for both their children and elderly family members.

Anjuke chief analyst Zhang Bo (张波) said to National Business Daily that home-buying was a “deeply rooted” traditional concept for the Chinese, and that given increasing pressure on the housing markets of first and second-tier cities, migrant workers are often left with no other option but to purchase housing in their home towns

According to Zhang many migrant workers will nonetheless return to the big cities after the Chinese New Year, and Beijing’s new policy focus on the home rental market means that a large number of people will meet their long-term accommodation needs via apartment leasing.

“There is absolutely no need [for them] to return home to purchase property, and home buying is merely impulse consumption, in order to go with the trend, compete with others, or achieve the dream of owning a home,” said Zhang.

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