Mainland China 117 to 100 and Hong Kong 3 to 4

Stephen Chung

Managing Director

Zeppelin Real Estate Analysis Limited

March 2004 

These are the projected male to female ratios among the productive adult population in Mainland China and Hong Kong respectively. Yes, you have noticed it = there are more men than women on the mainland while the opposite holds true in Hong Kong. It is not our intention here to dwell on the why, how, what, where, when etc stuff, and probably you would have come across some of the hundreds on articles on the subject. We are interested more on the business-economic implications that such disparate ratios may induce and their probable effects on real estate. Here we go speculating:

a)      There will be plenty of :lonely; hearts = essentially people who find it difficult to find a mate-intimate friend-spouse of the other gender, not to mention the :broken; hearts when couples break up. While these are likely to relate to the .majority・ gender group, e.g. men on the mainland and ladies in Hong Kong, it does not entirely exclude the minority gender group i.e. the ladies on the mainland and the men in Hong Kong, from suffering similar .heart・ problems despite having statistically more choices.  The reasons for the latter are simple = first, this is not an efficient market where .available・ persons are mostly listed on some form of Multiple-Listing-Service (MLS) system (notwithstanding the internet) i.e. many in the minority gender may still find it hard to meet potential mates; second, some in the minority gender group sensing the disparity will tend to raise their thresholds (requirements) thus creating difficulty for themselves. In any event, relationships overall may tend to get more complex and so do the emotional and sentimental aspects that come with it.

b)      Huge demand for products and services which cater :to the hearts;, minds, and emotions = be these psychiatry, dating services, passion and romance fictions (or novels), flowers, candle-light dinners, love songs, chocolate, sentimental radio talk shows, sensuous movies, gender relationship experts / celebrities, and many more. In short, something to cater to all .heart conditions・ (happy, sad, lonely, excited, desperate, fulfilling etc).

c)      Single men in Mainland China buying homes in order to increase their personal appeal = especially for those in the major cities of China, which to a certain extent have already become from a social-cultural viewpoint more sophisticated than the rest of China. Given the women population in these major cities being more educated and thus a bit more demanding etc, the men would have to upgrade themselves in skills, knowledge, and wealth, to match (the author・s note = while a relationship involves more than worldly things, they are a component).

d)      Single women in Hong Kong becoming a significant buying pool, replacing in part the typical husband + wife + children households = and this is already widely reported in real estate media circle and news in the Mainland, and the typical profile of the single female home buyer is of a late 20s to early 30s executive type, educated, professional, and / or sophisticated. Some real estate developers are already building units designed to cater to their needs.

e)      Women would really become a :thousand gold; as the men to women ratio rises = the latter term is what people would use to describe / address the daughters of friends implying them being very worthy (not altogether in the material sense) daughters etc. Currently the men to women ratio is roughly 106 to 100, more or less on par with the world・s average. Nonetheless, with the one-child policy and intentional preference to have a baby boy, this ratio is likely to get ore acute in years to come and experts have estimated one at 117 to 100 soon.

This men to women gap and other social trends may have implications, some of which may not be entirely known yet, be these economic-business, social-cultural, or administrative in years to come, including challenges and opportunities in real estate.

Notes: The article and/or content contained herein are for general reference only and are not meant to substitute for proper professional advice and/or due diligence. The author(s) and Zeppelin, including its staff, associates, consultants, executives and the like do not accept any responsibility or liability for losses, damages, claims and the like arising out of the use or reference to the content contained herein.

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