Cheap Bricks

Friend Marcus sends us a news item about the Chinese housing crisis. It’s a bit like the UK housing crisis and the American housing crisis and the Australian and New Zealand housing crises.

Young Chinese people have found that you can buy a home for as little as £3,500 outside the city limits. This is in comparison to property in Beijing, which is completely unaffordable even if you work every hour Chinese God sends.

What’s interesting to me is (a) the light bulb moment of these clever kids running the sums and realising that hard work doesn’t pay and (b) the realisation of an alternative.

The escape plan would be to move to the cheaper location while remote-working for a Beijing company for Beijing wages and saving the surplus for a few years. It’s our old friend geo-arbitrage without even leaving your country.

It’s something I’ve thought about doing myself. Instead of living in Glasgow, I could live in Port Glasgow (about twenty miles from where I currently live), the only downside being that it’s absolutely horrible. But it could cost as little as a grand, deftly avoiding both homelessness and the rent trap or a big mortgage. Then I could write books and, instead of starving while doing so, get fat.

Issue 16 is on its way. Don’t miss out! Pre-order at our online shop today.


Robert Wringham is the editor of New Escapologist. He also writes books and articles. Read more at

2 Responses to “Cheap Bricks”

  1. Fergie says:

    When we moved yo the US we chose to live in a cheaper area on the outskirts of Fort Wayne, Indiana. The location had to be near a bike trail and had to have a big garden. We found exactly the right house for $100k and paid it off in 20 years. There are a few downsides, it is a solid Republican and Trump area but my neighbors are ok as long as I never bring up politics or religion!

  2. Fergie says:

    In my previous post I should have written 10 years not 20 for paying off the mortgage!!

Leave a Reply

Latest issues and offers


Issue 14

Our latest issue. Featuring interviews with Caitlin Doughty and the Iceman, with columns by McKinley Valentine, David Cain, Tom Hodgkinson, and Jacob Lund Fisker. 88 pages. £9.


Two-issue Subscription

Get the current and next issue of New Escapologist. 176 pages. £16.

Four-issue Subscription

Get the current and next three issues of New Escapologist. 352 pages. £36.

PDF Archive

Issues 1-13 in PDF format. Over a thousand digital pages to preserve our 2007-2017 archive. 1,160 pages. £25.