Once, Hu Haoqi’s dreamed about moving out of the two-bedroom apartment he shares with two of his friends and into an apartment of his own. An interior designer by profession, he even sketched out what his bedroom would look like and carved out spaces in his dream home for house plants and a pet cat. 

He doesn’t want that anymore. 

Ever since news of Evergrande defaulting on its debts broke last month, Hu, 32, who works in Guangzhou, has spent a lot of free time “doom scrolling” through housing-related threads on Weibo, the country’s Twitter-like platform.

“It is extremely scary to read stories of people my age who put down deposits for Evergrande apartments, thinking they’d be able to move into a home of their own in five or six years,” Hu told Insider. 

What scares Hu most are videos on Douyin, China’s version of TikTok, that feature abandoned “ghost cities” and unfinished buildings. 

“I’ve seen accounts of people who dumped their savings over the last decade and a half into those deposits, and now they don’t know if the apartment building’s ever going to be fully built,” Hu said. “I don’t want that to happen to me, so for now, I’m just going to keep renting and saving up.” 

He’s not alone.

There are more than 400 million millennials amid China’s population of 1.3 billion people. Many of them rely on incurring debt to enter the housing…

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