By ANDREW JACOBS, New York Times, Published: April 14, 2011
(Photo, r. Gilles Sabrie for The New York Times. A billboard promoting real estate in Beijing. Amid a real estate boom, men are finding themselves lovelorn as women hold out for a mate with property.)
BEIJING — In the realm of eligible bachelors, Wang Lin has a lot to recommend him. A 28-year-old college-educated insurance salesman, Mr. Wang has a flawless set of white teeth, a tolerable karaoke voice and a three-year-old Nissan with furry blue seat covers.
“My friends tell me I’m quite handsome,” he said in confident English one recent evening, fingering his car keys as if they were a talisman.
But by the exacting standards of single Chinese women, it seems, Mr. Wang lacks that bankable attribute known as real property. Given that even a cramped, two-bedroom apartment on the dusty fringe of the capital sells for about $150,000, Mr. Wang’s $900-a-month salary means he may forever be condemned to the ranks of the renting.
Last year, he said, this deficiency prompted a high-end dating agency to reject his application. In recent months, half a dozen women have turned down a second meeting after learning that he had no means to buy a home. “Sometimes I wonder if I will ever find a wife,” said Mr. Wang, who lives with his parents, retired factory workers who remind him of his single status with nagging regularity. “I feel like a loser.”
Who knew? Wang Lin may feel like a loser, but as far as these women are concerned, he is one.
Look, Spring Bounce is here. Do you feel a renter is a loser? Or is that the case only in China? Consider that in Japan, with its 20 years of deflation, most twentysomethings feel that buying nothing is the best strategy. This NY Times article on the same subject was written before the devastating earthquake and tsunami, though. Will the reaction against the conspicuous consumption of forty and fiftysomething Japanese continue through the national emergency? Or will the youngsters rally and buy property for the good of the nation?
Well, how about this? The National Association of Realtors feels they are fighting for survival now. Doesn’t that make you want to run out and a buy another house so they can?
This is an open thread. Share your thoughts on the above ideas, or any Open Houses you may visit, or anything you like.