Andrea Hsu

Chic Chengdu Real Estate Fair

This past weekend, I got sucked into the Chengdu Spring Real Estate Fair. It was hard not to. It was taking place downtown, jamming up traffic. Organizers had set up a big stage out front and brought in pop stars from Hong Kong. I missed those performances, but I did catch a pair of women playing electric violins.

chengdu Electric Violin Model buildings

A stage in front of the expo center featured singers and musicians, including this violin performance. Inside, potential home buyers had plenty to explore. Andrea Hsu, NPR hide caption

toggle caption Andrea Hsu, NPR

Inside the four-story expo center, models and then models: women in all manner of evening wear, and miniature layouts of new construction.

Who knew real estate could be so chic?

All told there were nearly 300 booths — all of them developers — a mind-boggling amount of new housing when you think about it.

real estate fair Chengdu

The Chengdu Spring Real Estate Fair took place downtown at the Tianfu Expo Center, drawing tens of thousands of visitors. Andrea Hsu, NPR hide caption

toggle caption Andrea Hsu, NPR

Prices start at just over 1000 yuan per square meter (roughly $150) for homes in Chengdu's suburbs. More prestigious addresses in the city run from five to ten times that much, for a total cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Later this spring, we're going to look into the real estate market here. We hope to get inside one of these developments, to see what money will buy.

Chengdu Real estate fair

Models in evening wear man the booths at the Chengdu Spring Real Estate Fair. Andrea Hsu, NPR hide caption

toggle caption Andrea Hsu, NPR



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

The red hot real estate market reminds me of one issue, population control and the one-child policy.

Will you report on this subject?

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This is precisely one of the things we're going to China to observe.)

Could you file the reports on both the positive and negative impact of the one-child policy on China and the world?

Without the one-child policy there would have been additional half-billion people on this planet. How would that scenario effect the world?

This side of the story is rarely told by the Western new media. Personally, I think it is hypocritical that some SUV-driving anti-abortionists blame high gas prices on China's increasing demand for oil, when most Chinese are still struggling to feed themselves.

Sent by Alan | 4:39 PM | 4-23-2008

Most Chinese people are working hard just to earn an apartment and maybe a car. Some won't even achieve this during their lifetime. Also, many will never step outside of China.

Sent by Song Qiuying | 12:17 AM | 4-24-2008

I would be very interested in learning more of the following:

1. How China has lifted over 100 million of people out of poverty in a single generation? On the other hand, what the government, NGO, average citizens have done to help those are still being left behind? Or any?

2. Explore how peasant children cannot afford schools and how the school condition in far remote villages.

3. Rules of law or the lack of. What does China need to do to improve its track record in actually implementing the law. What has been done to improve the legal system to protect the average citizens, not protect corrupt officials.

Please do explore both the positive and negative sides of China with a truly objective perspective. I am so sick of almost all the Western news media bashing China and the communist government without putting it in the perspective of the struggle to feed the people in the past 30 years.

Sent by LJQ | 7:33 AM | 4-24-2008

I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but you may have misstated something in your posting about real estate in Chengdu. The price of real estate in Chengdu doesn't, "start at over 1,000 yuan per square meter" is not true, The exact price should be 3,000 yuan in Chengdu's suburbs .

(ANDREA HSU REPLIES: At the real estate fair, I did see new construction located in Pixian (way outside the city center, but still well within the borders of Chengdu municipality) advertised for RMB1280/square meter and up. That was definitely the low end, as I point out. There were certainly much pricier options.

Sent by zhong lei | 10:46 PM | 4-24-2008

I'm a Chengdu local.

As for real estate demographics, here's a local breakdown:

"Bad guys" (usally migrant workers) live in the north of the city.

"Poor" (blue collars in heavy industry) live in the east.

"Rich" (businesspeople) in the west.

"Prestigious" (white collar, government people) in the south.

I'm sure you will discover that when you are in Chengdu.

Sent by George Wang | 11:47 PM | 4-24-2008

I want to extend a welcome to my home away from home, Chengdu. As a US ex-pat with a five-year history in Chengdu, I'm confident to say you will find Chengdu a highly welcoming city and where you rarely find a stranger. Also as a board member of the Southwest China American Chamber of Commerce I would like to extend to you an invitation to visit with several of our local American Chamber members.

Sent by Steve Allemang | 11:13 AM | 5-3-2008

I am an American intern at an asset management firm in Guangzhou. I am currenetly researching Chengdu for development oppertunities. How do you think the quake will impact the real estate markets in Chengdu?

Sent by Kieron James | 2:53 AM | 5-27-2008


NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from