Home of the 160 square feet apartment

An article in the 10/17/12 Wall Street Journal about the burgeoning, low end apartment market in China has some amazing numbers/quotes:

Some 50 million of China’s 230 million urban households live in substandard quarters often lacking their own toilet and kitchen, research firm Dragonomics estimates. The firm figures China will need to build 10 million apartments a year until 2030

At the research center of China’s largest property developer, China Vanke,000002.SZ -0.61% is an apartment that measures 160 square feet, about the size of a parking space. The bed folds to make seating. The shower is a vertical tube by the front door.

At a price of about 835 yuan ($133) a square foot, an apartment that size is relatively affordable at the yuan equivalent of $21,500, which is around six times per-capita disposable income for China’s urban residents. By contrast, the larger apartments that have been the traditional focus of China’s developers could cost as much as 40 years’ income.

A recent book co-written by Chairman Wang Shi quotes him as saying: “Urban residents in China have no right to live in large houses”—citing low incomes and scarce land among the reasons.

Can you imagine the backlash in the US if anyone said that urban residents “have no right to live in large houses?”