RENT is rising in cities across China, and young Chinese are feeling the brunt of this worrying trend。
Apartment rent in major cities like Beijing, Guangzhou and Wuhan has increased by an average of 10 percent, according to Xinhua News Agency. Prices are up as much as 20 percent in some of these cities' districts。
Experts blame the rising costs of renting an apartment on a number of factors, such as recent government regulations on housing prices, and an influx of rental demand from new graduates and other groups。
"The government's recent policy on real estate has cooled down the housing prices a bit, so more apartment owners are choosing to rent their apartments," said news pundit Zhang Hong on the CCTV program Observe Today。
Zhang insists, however, that the problem will be only temporary because the government will take measures to make sure the problem does not get out of hand. "As the policy on housing prices keeps working, the rent prices will be contained."
Beijing prices go through the roof
The average rent of a Beijing apartment (from one-bedroom to three-bedroom types all included) rose to 2,792 yuan in the first half of the year, a year-on-year jump of 18.5 percent, according to data from Beijing-based property agent Homelink Real Estate. The average rent has increased even further over the last two months, hitting 2,885 yuan in May and June-up 19.8 percent from the same period in 2009.
In 2009, the average monthly income for new graduates in Beijing was 2,472 yuan, according to Xinhua. This suggests that rental prices are at least 17 percent higher than the average monthly income of many new graduates in Beijing。
White-collars feel the pinch in Guangzhou
The situation is no better in Guangzhou. Rent has increased by 10.9 percent over the last two months and has now hit an average of 30.44 yuan a square meter in downtown areas, according to China Daily。
In addition to college graduates, some white-collar employees are also feeling the pressure of rising rent prices. Xia Meng, a 24-year-old who works as an accountant, is one of them. Last month, she moved out of her old apartment due to higher rent。
She thinks the rise in rental prices will have a direct effect on her peers. "If housing prices keep going up, we will choose not to buy an apartment," she said. "No big deal. But if rent keeps increasing, it'll drive many crazy."
In Wuhan, students fret about the future
Rent prices in Wuhan have also risen 10 to 15 percent. According to Xinhua, the average rent in March was 19.04 yuan a square meter. But in June, the average rent jumped to 20.36 yuan a square meter-up from 18.33 yuan at the same time last year。
Even though the rising prices in Wuhan can't compare with those in Beijing and Guangzhou, they still worry many current college students。
Tang Jiaying, a 22-year-old junior at Jianghan University, is reconsidering living on his own after graduation。