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Home improvement boom in China

Asia Times, 11 June 1999

BEIJING - The rising industry of interior decoration has been developing with great momentum, with the annual business turnover likely to reach 80 billion yuan by the year 2000, according to industry experts.

Statistics from the Ministry of Construction indicate that the business volume of interior renovation and decoration registered a hectic 50 percent year-on-year rise in 1998 to more than 75 billion yuan. A survey shows that the figure only satisfied 70 percent of the market demand last year.

The growing market of interior renovation is attributable to the high-speed development of the national economy, and improved living standards of the people. According to an investigation conducted by related departments, the zest for interior renovation and decoration is going strong in such large cities as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Harbin, Nanjing, Dalian and Chengdu as well as in medium-sized and small cities.

Statistics indicate that more than 60 percent of urban households have spruced up their houses, with the average cost reaching 20,000 yuan per household. In 1998, Beijing residents spent more than two billion yuan on housing improvements.

Based on a national development plan on housing construction, China will build at least 200 million square meters of residential housing annually in the coming ten years. The plan is aimed to help 4.5 million residents to have spacious living space. The per capita living space is expected to expand from the current four square meters to nine.

Experts forecast that the total areas of residential housings will exceed five billion square meters by the year 2002 and that 83 million flats will need decoration and renovation, which will cost about three million yuan.

(Asia Pulse/XIC)