40% urban Chinese fear of apartment building collapse - survey found

Updated: 05 Aug 2009
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About 40 percent of urban Chinese said in a recent survey that an apartment building collapse might occur in their own cities, the China Youth Daily reported Tuesday.


The online survey conducted by the newspaper had polled 2,870 netizens. Only 17.6 percent of the respondents didn't have such fear while the rest said they were "not sure."


A 13-story apartment building under construction collapsed on June 27 in, killing one worker in the building.


More than 380 homeowners who had put deposits on apartment units in the collapsed building are demanding refunds. By the time the developer stopped sales following the accident, it had already sold out 489 of 629 homes.


"The current problem is that the public lacks a sense of security," said Lin Shaozhou, president of Howto Corporation, a real estate company.


Lin, once general manager of real estate giant Vanke, added that the bad reputation of house developers had aggravated such fears.


According to the survey, 70 percent of the respondents had found cracks in walls or water leaks on the floor, while 45.4 percent said they had discovered quality problems in apartment building projects.


Ba Shusong, a senior official with the Development Research Center of the State Council, said house buyers' insecurity also came from the economic conditions of the country's housing market.


"Currently real estate developers earn their profits primarily from buying land and reselling finished buildings at a much higher price -- instead of from their service for customers," Ba said, adding that the developers were too eager for quick success and instant benefit.


He hoped that the government would take effective measures to control the balance between supply and demand in the housing market to prevent bubbles and ensure customers' rights.




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