China’s “nail houses” cause construction delays and strange twists in roads
A family of seven lived in a three-story building without electricity or water, in the middle of a street.
Image: Reuters/China Stringer Network
Gwynn Guilford, Roberto A. Ferdman
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Even as its economy slows, China’s investment in real estate and infrastructure has lost little steam. A common problem for developers, though, is that especially in and around major cities plum land parcels are often already occupied. The solution? Evict the residents. Sometimes developers or local governments compensate or relocate those they kick out, usually offering less than the original property’s value. Sometimes they don’t.
But occasionally this combo of force and pay-out doesn’t work. The result is what is popularly called “nail houses” or “nail households,” referring both to their residents’ stubbornness and how they protrude on the skyline of already razed land.