Real estate prices rise at China-North Korea border city

By Bai Tiantian and Deng Xiaoci Source:Global Times Published: 2018/5/2 22:28:40 Last Updated: 2018/5/3 2:45:59

Buyers act on rumors of economic reform, peninsula denuclearization

Property prices in the China-North Korea border city of Dandong have skyrocketed since North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visited Beijing in March.

Housing prices in Dandong, Northeast China's Liaoning Province, have risen from 3,000 yuan ($471.5) to 5,000 yuan per square meter and those in some areas even doubled, the Global Times has learned.

Xu Min, a real estate agent in Dandong, told the Global Times that prices in Xincheng district adjacent to the Yalu River are increasing especially fast.
"The price hike took place after Kim Jong-un visited China," Xu said.

Property prices are increasing by 300 yuan a day in some areas, a Dandong businesswoman told the Global Times. She refused to be fully named.

"Apartments overlooking the Yalu River were not profitable at all in the past, but as buyers began to flood in and prices rose, real estate developers stopped giving out discounts," she said.

On the website of real estate agency, an article outlined a popular rumor that as North Korea reforms its economy Dandong might turn into another Shenzhen, the Chinese mainland boom city near Hong Kong. The article encouraged people to buy property while prices are low.

The volume of property deals is also reportedly increasing. 

The number of new applications has sharply risen beyond their processing limit of 260 a day, the real estate registration center of Dandong said in an April 25 notice released on the website of its parent organization the Dandong Municipal Bureau of Land and Resources. The center asked house buyers to make early appointments.

But a government employee from the registration center denied the rising trade had anything to do with North Korea. 

"Several communities in Dandong happened to finish construction recently and the buyers are now heading to the center to complete their transactions in groups," the employee, surnamed Zhang, told the Global Times.

Most of the buyers were local, the employee said, and denied widespread speculation that outsiders were flooding into the city buying up property.

Inquiries about trips to North Korea have increased since Kim's March 25-28 visit to China, travel agents told the Global Times.

After Kim's visit, there was a time when the large demand for train tickets to North Korea made them hard to acquire, as business trips and trips of family visits boomed, Zhang Runfu, a travel agent at Hongxiang International Travel Agency in Dandong, told the Global Times.

Trips to Pyongyang were suspended last year, but inquiries about such trips have been on the rise in the past month, Zhang said.

Newspaper headline: Real estate prices rise at Korean border


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