Elaine Yau:

Home ownership is the quintessential Chinese dream. According to a 2018 housing supply research report released by Evergrande Real Estate, over 60 per cent of city people in China own a house. Spending one’s life savings to buy a home is the requisite entrée into marriage and starting a family.

Housing market woes and the anguish ridden quest to join the ranks of homeowners provide creative fodder for gritty Chinese TV dramas and films.The 2009 TV series Dwelling Narrowness was hugely popular and critically acclaimed for giving a visceral portrayal of the difficulties in buying an affordable home in China. Based on a novel of the same name by Liu Liu, the 35-part series pulled no punches in reflecting the white-hot real estate bubble, political corruption and yawning rich-poor gap in China.

Another TV series, the 53-part I Will Find You a Better Home, which had its finale in China last week, recorded viewer numbers similar to those for Dwelling Narrowness. The series was adapted by Liu Liu after a Chinese producer bought the rights to 2016 Japanese TV series Your Home is My Business!