Law enforcement workers fill up an underground shaft, in which a person was found living, in Beijing, in this December 6, 2013 file photo. Despite efforts to discourage property speculation and ... more 
Law enforcement workers fill up an underground shaft, in which a person was found living, in Beijing, in this December 6, 2013 file photo. Despite efforts to discourage property speculation and develop affordable housing, a steady stream of job-seekers from the countryside and a lack of attractive investment alternatives have kept prices soaring. Residential property prices rose 10 percent in November from the same month of 2012, according to data released last week, and have been setting new records every year since 2009. Prices in Beijing are rising even faster ' 16 percent a year ' with rents climbing 12 percent a year. That's pushing more and more newly arrived urbanites underground. Of the estimated 7.7 million migrants living in Beijing, nearly a fifth live either at their workplace or underground, according to state news agency Xinhua. Beijing's housing authority refuted this statistic, saying in an email to Reuters that a government survey last year found only about 280,000 migrants living in basements and that only a small percentage of Beijing's basements were being used as dwellings. REUTERS/Stringer/Files (CHINA - Tags: BUSINESS SOCIETY POLITICS REAL ESTATE) CHINA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN CHINA less 
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Reuters | Photo By CHINA STRINGER NETWORK / REUTERS
Mon, Jan 6, 2014 2:25 AM EST