More women are choosing not to marry in urban China, contributing to a “singles economy”.
Studies show that more than 30 per cent of these single women are saving to buy a home.
Thirty-four-year-old Susan Liu is planning to buy a small unit in downtown Shanghai.
Her budget is over US$300,000 and the money will come out of her own pocket.
Ms. Liu, the manager of a multinational company is among a growing number of single women who believe in being financially independent.
A survey of women in Shanghai shows 82 per cent are happy to stay single, with a third of single women saving up to buy their own home. Businesses will also be happy to adapt to the trend, as new property launches feature smaller, singles-oriented units.
Ms. Chen Qian Qian has just bought her own apartment, in a society where it’s the norm for men to pay for the house.
She said having her own home means marriage is now a choice, rather than an economic necessity.
“If a woman is not financially independent, she’ll have to depend on her husband after marriage. While a woman who is financially independent has more choice. You can choose to live on your own, it’s not a problem,” said Ms Chen.
But while some women have attained financial independence, the stigma of being unmarried is another problem they have to overcome.
“Overseas, it’s okay if you remain single even at 60. But in China, if you are still single at 30, everyone around you will be thinking there is something wrong with you,” said Ms Chen.
“In the traditional Chinese mindset, women should focus on the family, but the reality in Shanghai is that more women are putting their career first,” she added.