Real estate prices in Beijing have increased by 42 percent over the past three years, says a report released by the website Sina.com and New Real Estate magazine.
The report shows that in 2004 new homes sold at an average price of 6,178 yuan per square meter. By 2006 that figure had soared to 8,792 yuan (US$976.9), a jump of 42 percent in three years.
Another report, by the national real estate company Homelink shows that the average cost of a home was 9.4 times greater than the average annual disposable income of Beijing families in 2005.
According to the World Bank, the cost of housing should not be more than five time greater than a buyer's annual disposable income. The United Nations puts the figure at three times.
Municipal statistics show that the average family's disposable income in Beijing was 51,193.7 yuan (US$6,399) in 2005, while the average price of a new home was 480,000 yuan.
(Xinhua News Agency January 8, 2007)