With diminishing residential spaces available, local property developers in China have still found a way to maximize profits, leading to the creation of the most blatant display of capitalist greed: Shenzhen Mini-Houses.
In the modern metropolis of Shenzhen in China, many residents are living in tiny six-square-meter flats that cost around $150,000 (1 million yuan), Forbes reported. Such expensive mini-houses have started to become the norm, to the annoyance of many.
Equipped with basic necessities such as bathrooms, kitchens, wardrobes and fold-down beds, these tiny dwelling places have been popularly called “pigeon cage apartments” by locals.
Normal prices for such flats usually costs $22,000 per square meter or $132,000 for the unit. For those who can afford to spend more, they can always get larger apartments, of course. Sizes range from 36 to 60 square meters.
Photos of these homes were recently uploaded on social media and quickly went viral. More than the small size, netizens were outraged by the excessive pricing. The mini-houses cost more than twice Shenzhen’s average per square meter. Their prices even exceeded average homes in Beijing.
Urban Planning, Land and Resources Commission’s data revealed that Shenzhen has become one of the most expensive properties in China, with the average cost of a home that can go around 60,000 yuan (or $8,978) per square meter.
“The tiny homes are just crazy,” Sina Weibo user Youko was quoted as saying.
“We are forced to live like rats in such small flats,” another one said.
A down payment of 30% is required for first-time home buyers in Shenzhen, while 70% is asked for second home purchases.
According to private consultancy research director Yan Yuejin, by eliminating down payments required by larger flats, purchasing the mini-homes has made more sense for many.
“Property prices are rising so fast in the city,” Yan was quoted as saying. “Buying smaller flats help people save up when it comes to down payments. But these ‘pigeon cage apartments’ are an extreme phenomenon.”
When the news broke out about the tiny homes, sales of such properties were reportedly halted by local authorities. Apparently, building tiny apartments wasn’t included in their approved land planning papers — add that to the fact that they also failed to meet the government’s minimum size requirement for residential homes which is at least 22 square meters.