China¡¯s Impending Urban Out- Migration

Alexander Pan,
Beijing, China

While the flood of migrant laborers into first tier urban centers such as Beijing, shanghai, and Guangzhou, shows no sign of slowing; a new study reveals what may be a new type of out migration of upper middle class white collar workers from first tier cities, to second and third tier cities.
According to a survey conducted by Digitimes, the rapidly increasing price of housing and living, as well as the everyday stresses associated with living in first tier urban centers is causing many young white collar workers to look elsewhere for employment. They hope to find equal economic opportunities and a ¡°more comfortable¡± life with ¡°less stress.¡±
Among the survey participants who had lived in a first tier city for over three years, 55% of them responded that they would like to move out of the city within the next few years. Many of these respondents cited increasing housing prices and high levels of stress as the major reasons for their desire to leave.
Many of these respondents stated that that would look to move to second and third tier cities such as Hangzhou, Qingdao, and Xiamen. They believe that these cities have huge development potential in the upcoming years, and will afford them a much less stressful life as well as a significantly reduced cost of living.
"Yes, I'm ready to leave any time to a city where I don't need to worry about housing prices every day," said Sarah Pei, 29, a marketing assistant in Shanghai who earns a monthly salary of about 7,000 yuan ($1,000).
"I get a handsome salary here, but I'm not happy. The city's high housing prices and high cost of living bother me every day. That's why my husband and I aren't thinking about a baby. We don't have enough money to raise a baby," she said.
"I know I will leave here one day. The salaries in my hometown of Taiyuan, in Shanxi province, may be not as high as in Shanghai, but it can cut at least 10 years off the time it would take me to buy an apartment."
The information gathered by this survey is corroborated by another survey conducted by Shanghai-based, which showed about 76 percent of 428 respondents who are now working in Shanghai intend to leave over the next one to three years.
Edward Lehman managing director of Lehman Lee and Xu, said that ¡° This research shows us two very important things. First, the sky rocketing property prices in China¡¯s urban centers is beginning to price out some of the nations best and brightest young workers. This shows us the importance of controlling these property prices so that these cities may continue to flourish. Secondly, while this may be a bad sign for the so called first tier cities, It is great news for the second and third tier cities and China as a whole. With these bright, and upwardly mobile workers moving into lesser developed cities, we can expect to see rapid booms in their respective economies. We at Lehman Lee and Xu have offices in nearly all of China¡¯s developing cities and look forward to assisting these bright young workers as they prosper and bring prosperity to their new homes.

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