China's Lack of Women To Blame For Housing Prices?

China's favorite boy babies are all grown up and competing for a wife. But first, they have to come up with enough cash to buy that home or luxury apartment. There's apparently a Chinese proverb: "build a nest to attract a phoenix.”

Phoenixes are harder to find. What's more, skyrocketing housing prices are making it tough for a single man to buy a home in China. And,while China may be a Communist country, it looks good ole capitalism has crept in and is putting a strain on a man's wallet and chance of finding a mate. 

One recent study is citing the ripple effects of China's one-child policy and blaming the high cost of buying a home on this man-made gender gap . You remember, the one back in 1979, where the government restricted couples in urban areas to having one child. And in many cases, boys were the preferred sex. And by 2020, experts say there could be an extra 30-plus million men.

Back in 1980, China's sex ratio at birth was 106 boys to every 100 girls. And in 2004, it was as high as 120 males to 100 girls. Recently, the number dropped to 117 boys. 

But don't feel too bad for these single men, apparently they still have more time and their perception of the "problem" differs from women. 
The pressure of reality of being a "leftover" is different for men and women. Still being single at 30 is an issue for some women, but leftover men don't seem to be as worried about getting hitched. According to The World of Chinese, there are around 5.8 million shèngnǚ, the Chinese name for “leftover women”, and the number of “leftover men” is more than 11 million.  That leaves at least 5 million men without a wife. And while some men and maybe their parents are concerned, many leftover men are either afraid to get married due to their lack of financial status, being picky or they are unwanted. Getting a younger wife is always an option.

Sounds familiar, single American ladies?

Now, back to that housing crisis and the stress of finding that perfect mate.

Many Chinese men and some women with capital tend to put their money in real estate because they perceive it as a safe and reliable investment, says the Washington Post. And what happens next, prices go up, which leads to more investing and then prices go up yet again. 

And while the study shows, owning a bachelor's degree and stable income does not give men the advantage in the marriage market like it used to, buying property is still one of the most popular ways to catch that "phoenix."

The study also cited a 2012 survey from the Horizon Research & Consultancy Group, which states that three quarters of unmarried urban women in mainland cities consider a man's house purchasing power as a very important factor in deciding whether to marry him. 

Photo: Fotolia