Cemetery plot prices soar in Beijing

The rising cost of daily necessities in China is also being reflected in the price of cemetery plots. Some gravesites in Beijing are now selling for many times the cost of a house, as Zhang Ni reports.

This cemetery in northwest Beijing has 2000 tombs. But it feels crowded, as there are no empty plots.

The Hao family bought this half square meter grave in 2001.

Mr. Hao, Beijing resident said “We bought it for about 10-thousand yuan, and we had a discount because we buried our parents together.”

They had no idea about the price hike this year. With a lack of space, the cost of graves in the cemetery has reached a new high.

Cemetery prices soar in Beijing

This burial plot was just sold for 210-thousand yuan per square meter — 20 times more than 9 years ago.

(Can you afford it now if the price is 210 thousand?)

“Of course it would be very difficult for those who don’t earn much.”

“Really? Is it that expensive now? Incredible.”

This graveyard is one of the most famous and oldest cemeteries in the country, where many celebrities are laid to rest. To keep up with demand, staff here try to make 100 more burial plots every year. But it’s still not enough.

According to officials, the lack of space is the main reason behind the booming plot prices.

Hou Yongchen, Vice Secretary of Beijing Wan’an Cemetery said “With a housing space you can build a property of many stories. But a cemetery plot only has one level.”

At the other end of the cemetery, the Bone Ash Hall lies. A permanent plot in this multi-level tomb costs only 4000 yuan. But it’s not the first choice for many Chinese families, who want to bury their relatives in the traditional way.

While officials say the public needs to be more open to burial alternatives, more cemeteries in the capital are opening.

Hou Yongchen said “Beijing is developing new public cemeteries in the suburbs. They can totally meet the demand.”

Currently, there are 33 cemeteries in Beijing. Burial plots in these graveyards cost about 10 thousand yuan per square meter.

Watch Video here: http://english.cntv.cn/program/china24/20110406/101227.shtml

– CCTV News

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