China is one of the most powerful nations on earth. No truer is this then when it comes to its technological and military might. The most populous country in the world is also a hotbed for new residential and commercial developments. From shopping malls and plazas to apartment buildings and complexes – China is truly on the move and in par with its rapidly growing economy.
In recent years, however, the country has also seen a civil war among property owners and commercial developers. The symbol of this war-for the property owners-is “nail houses.” These unattractive and poorly built structures stand alone amid the ruins of other buildings. While they stick out like a sore thumb, they do represent solidarity among land owners that have stood their ground and resisted demolition.
Why Nail Houses?
Whether they own the property-or the land the property sits on-owners have remained defiant for one main reason. This, of course, is low compensation being offered by wealthy developers and architectural firms. So intense is this battle that the Chinese courts are backlogged with cases revolving around commercial development and defiant property owners. Even with this going on, construction continues to soar all around them.
While a few home and property owners have won their fights – many have not. As a way to fight for justice-especially for those that have lost their cases-nail houses have truly become powerful symbols of resistance against greedy developers. These shanty-like homes are also a blow to the heart of the world’s fastest growing major economy, which seems to have been hijacked by the new robber barons and masters of gentrification.
With new nail houses being erected daily, Chinese homeowners have basically given the finger to developers. One might argue, however, that these homeowners are slowing down the economic advancement of the country – really? It seems the real estate market – especially commercial – tends to only serve the needs of the developers and their contractors. Yes, it’s true that jobs are created and commerce does flourish – then why the low ball offers for land and property that has been around for decades?
In recent months, some property owners have given us to these laughable offers – and seen their homes demolished within seconds. Most owners, however, will continue the struggle until their demands are met in full!