For investors, many of the usual bubble warning signs are flashing. Fueled by low interest rates, prices in Shanghai and Beijing doubled in less than four years, then doubled again. Most Chinese home buyers expect that today's high prices will climb even higher tomorrow, so they are stretching to pay prices at the edge of their means or beyond. Brokers say it is common for buyers to falsely inflate income statements for bank loans.
…The Xinhua news agency quoted Goldman Sachs as saying that housing price increases had outpaced wage hikes by 30 percent in Shanghai and 80 percent in Beijing in recent years.
A popular television soap opera known as "Snail House" depicts two sisters' desperate struggle to buy an ever more unaffordable home. One sister resorts to becoming the mistress of a corrupt, married official to get money for an apartment.
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