Zheng Ruizhen counted herself among the last holdouts on Shanghai’s Lufeng Road. Even as high-rises sprang up to surround her dilapidated home, the 50-year-old schoolteacher and her husband held firm. When city officials pushed them to sell, they said no. But then came China’s latest property bubble — a surge in prices that could have global repercussions if it pops. In August, an unremarkable piece of land around the corner from their place sold for nearly $2,000 a square foot, a national record and nearly 3 times the average land price in Manhattan. And so, Ruizhen’s husband, Sun Guojian, signed away their home for a price to be determined later. Then, earlier this month, Guojian died of a heart attack, something his wife said was maybe influenced by stress. Now, as Ruizhen grieves, she’s waiting to hear how much the Shanghai government will offer — but however much that is, she knows it won’t be enough for her to be able to afford to live anywhere close to Lufeng Road. @yuyang_liu_ photographed Ruizhen at home. Visit the link in our profile to read more about China’s property boom.
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