Property prices soar in Chinese city bordering North Korea
May 07, 2018 - Dandong
Housing prices along China's border with North Korea have skyrocketed since Kim Jong Un visited Beijing in March.
Other properties have seen a rise from 3,000 yuan ($471) to 5,000 yuan ($785) per square meter, and some areas are reportedly increasing at a rate of 300 yuan ($47) a day.
Housing prices in Xincheng district, a new housing area on the outskirts of Dandong, jumped 57 per cent overnight, according to a report in the Securities Times, China Daily reported. Dandong is right across the Yalu River from Sinuiju, North Korea.
"Dandong is China's largest border and trading city with DPRK, with over 70 per cent to 80 per cent of that trade volume going through Dandong," said Lyu Chao, a researcher of border studies at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences.
"Housing prices in Dandong have always been a reflection of the China-DPRK relationship. People's confidence in future trade is growing. It is certain to say the trading relationship will become better," China Daily reported Lyu as saying.
On the website of real estate agency jiwu.com, an article outlined a popular rumour that as North Korea reforms its economy, Dandong might turn into another Shenzhen, the Chinese mainland boom city near Hong Kong. The article encouraged people to buy property while prices are low.
Dandong’s real estate registration office released a statement last week saying it was unable to keep up with the sudden rise in people registering apartments so people needed to make an appointment to visit the office ahead of time, according to state-owned Securities Times newspaper.
But a government employee from the registration centre denied the rising trade had anything to do with North Korea.
"Several communities in Dandong happened to finish construction recently and the buyers are now heading to the centre to complete their transactions in groups," the employee, surnamed Zhang, told the Global Times.
Most of the buyers were local, the employee said, and denied widespread speculation that outsiders were flooding into the city buying up property.
There has also been increased interest in North Korea's housing market from Chinese buyers, particularly in Pyongyang and Wonsan, though no deals have yet been made, according to Reuters.
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