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"Ant house" becomes a hot phrase among post-80s white collar workers in Shanghai

2009-11-30 15:41 BJT

While the "70s generation" has made some achievements and the "90s generation" has just made its debut, those born in the 1980s are being severely tested by their lives and careers. In Shanghai where the cost of living is extremely high, "Ant house" has recently replaced "Shanghai vagrant" and "house slave" to be the hottest phrase among post-80s generation white collar workers.

The phrase "Ant house" has become popular

A hot TV series named "Ant house" shows the confusion and helplessness felt by people in big cities who don't own a house through the ups and downs of buying property. The program attracts an extremely large audience. Catchphrases from the series such as "savings never match soaring housing prices" and "if it takes 30 years to pay off the mortgage, the interest you pay will be enough to buy another house" have become frequently repeated in conversations among white collar workers in Shanghai.

In an online survey titled "Your residential condition in Shanghai" carried out by, Shanghai's official website, over 70 percent of the interviewees said that they live in "Ant house" at present. Many of them claimed that they are faithful "Ant house" people. "Housing prices are too high. It makes more sense to rent."

Facing an embarrassing "city dream"

The post-80s generation once dreamed of living in a first tier city such as Shanghai or Beijing. However when they finally realized their dreams and arrived in these cities, the post-80s generation, who have neither a lot of money nor good jobs, found that they are facing unbelievable challenges.

Lin Xu, who works in a foreign company, told the reporter that although his salary is between 5,000 and 6,000 yuan a month, he doesn't feel as happy as his classmates who live in second tier cities and earn about 2,000 yuan a month. He said with a sigh that although he receives a white collar salary, after deducting rent, transportation, grocery and other expenses he can only save as much money as a blue collar worker, and cannot even entertain the idea of buying a house.

Getting out of Shanghai becomes a new choice

When houses become luxuries, the traditional question "which is more important, love or bread?" becomes "which do you want, love or a house?" In the past, rich people were often described as "millionaires", but now a million yuan can only buy a second-hand old ant house in an urban district of Shanghai, or a small house in Shanghai's suburbs.

Many "Ant house" people are considering getting out of Shanghai as the housing prices are too high there. In relevant surveys, over 40 percent of the respondents said that although they are happy to live in ant houses at present, faced with the possibility of never fulfilling their dream of buying a house, they may go elsewhere in search of personal development.


Translated by LOTO

Editor: Shi Taoyang | Source: