Land prices in China are surging, both for the living and the dead

JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images
  • The average cost for a burial plot in China has surged by 41% in the past three years, according to data from Fu Shou Yuan International Group, China’s largest publicly traded operator of cemeteries and funeral facilities.
  • At 112,545 yuan per square meter, it’s more than double the price for a home in Shenzhen, China’s most expensive housing market.
  • China’s population is estimated at 1.386 billion, according to the World Bank.

Chinese property prices have soared in recent years, making it increasingly costly for those living in the world’s most populous nation.

However, it not only becoming an expensive place for the living, but the dead as well.

According to Bloomberg, citing data from Fu Shou Yuan International Group, China’s largest publicly traded operator of cemeteries and funeral facilities, the cost of an average burial plot has soared 41% to $US14,800 since the middle of 2015, outpacing growth of 23% in home prices as measured by China’s National Bureau of Statistics.

Per square metre, the average plot price stood at about 112,545 yuan in 2017, more than double the 56,196 yuan per square meter average it cost to buy an apartment in Shenzhen, China’s most-expensive housing market.

“Supply is very limited,” Hao Hong, a chief strategist at Bocom International Holdings, told Bloomberg. “We’ve heard about some people who bought flats in Shanghai to store cremains instead of expensive graves.”

Yan Yuejin, a property analyst at China Real Estate Information Corporation, told Bloomberg that a lack of regulation has “partially fuelled soaring prices”, managing to escape, at least so far, ever-tighter restrictions that have been introduced by policymakers to cool rapid house price growth.

According to data from the World Bank, China’s population was estimated to be 1.386 billion in 2017.

China’s crude death rate, as measured by the bank, fell to seven deaths per 1,000 head of population in 2016, down from 25 per year in 1960.

Bloomberg has more here.

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