SHENZHEN, Chinia – With its open kitchen, bathtub and electric piano, Chinese e-commerce worker Twiggy says her home is the envy of her colleagues – even if it is located in their office carpark, according to a report at France24.com, a division of Agency France Presse (AFP.)
The cheery yellow refitted van, named “YOLO” (You Only Live Once), gives He a commute of two minutes from bed to desk, and has saved her thousands of yuan a month in tech hub Shenzhen, one of China’s most expensive cities.
The 28-year-old is one of a growing number of young people in major cities who have taken one look at sky-high real estate prices and sought an alternative arrangement.
“I find living in an RV to be very freeing,” He, who moved in four months ago, told AFP.
“It doesn’t give me any anxiety about buying a house or make me feel I need to settle down… Maybe I’ll even move to a new city in a few years.”
Her monthly expenses have plummeted from when she rented an apartment, from around 2,500 yuan ($350) a month to 600 yuan, with parking only 20 yuan a day.
She does, though, have to rely on public facilities to use the toilet.
For Zhang Xi, who started living in an RV with his partner last May before opening a van renovation workshop, cost was the main push factor.
“Shenzhen’s property prices are beyond the reach of ordinary folks like me,” he told AFP.
A recent survey by a property research institute suggested Shenzhen’s rent-to-income ratio has reached up to 49 percent, and buying is even worse.
On average, second-hand flats fetch 65,000 yuan per square metre – nearly nine times the city’s average monthly salary in the private sector.
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