Updated: 2013-07-10 08:10

(China Daily)

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The problem of house rents

Comment on "Rent devours paychecks in Beijing" (China Daily, July 3)

The market generally decides the level of house rents in a city. If commodity prices and people's living expenses rise, so will apartment rents. The rising demand for rental housing has caused apartment rents to soar further in big cities such as Beijing.

The authorities, however, should look into the non-market factors behind the unusually high increase in house rents, because many people who leave their home and family thousands of kilometers away to work in cities like Beijing and Shanghai are finding it difficult to survive.

But why do people endure so much trouble in cities like Beijing instead of staying home? The answer is obvious to earn more money and live a better quality life. Besides, cities offer relatively more opportunities to improve their living standards.

Many people think that the high living expenses will eventually drive people away from big cities like Beijing. But that is not true, because most people do not want to leave a big city after getting a taste of the things it has to offer and the opportunities available.

Therefore, the government has to take measures to create more job opportunities in the countryside and narrow the gap between urban and rural living standards. By doing so, the government will prevent a lot of people from migrating to cities, which will ease the demand for housing and lower the house rents.

Wu Yaoqiang, via e-mail

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(China Daily 07/10/2013 page9)