From the LA Times:
China`s housing boom has created a woefully frustrated class of bachelors.Home prices in major cities including Beijing and Shanghai have easily doubled over the last year as families and investors rush to grab a piece of the Chinese dream. A typical 1,000-square-foot, two-bedroom, one-bath apartment in the capital now costs about $274,000. That`s 22 times the average annual income of a Beijing resident.Unlike in the United States, where home buying traditionally takes place after marriage, owning a place in China has recently become a prerequisite for tying the knot. Experts said securing an apartment in this market signals that a man is successful, family-oriented and able to weather challenging financial circumstances. Put succinctly, homeownership has become the ultimate symbol of virility in today`s China."A man is not a man if he doesn`t own a house," said Chen Xiaomin, director of the Women`s Studies Center at the Shanghai University of Political Science and Law. "Marriage is becoming more and more materialistic. This is a huge change in Chinese society. No matter how confident a woman is, she will lose face if her boyfriend or husband doesn`t have a house."
... "People`s values have changed," he said. "It doesn`t matter if you`re a nice guy or you`re fun or good natured or have a sense of humor. They don`t care. All they care about is a house."
I don`t know, but, somehow, I suspect marriage has always been a little materialistic in China.
By the way, housing prices have been inching upwards for about a year in Southern California, and they were still way too high a year ago in most of California for locals to afford them. I wonder if the Chinese housing boom is spilling over into California? It apparently is spilling into Australia, so why not California?