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China education reform triggers abrupt fall in condo prices

Expanding school districts lessen value of homes close to choice institutions

Shenzhen's Baihua district is home to many parents who want their children to attend the area's highly rated schools. (Photo by Iori Kawate)

SHENZHEN -- China's push to equalize educational opportunities has unexpectedly caused condominium prices to plunge in areas near prestigious schools in Shenzhen and other major cities, as Beijing plans to expand school districts to allow children to attend schools outside of previously designated zones.

Shenzhen's Baihua district, a 20-minute drive from the main Shenzhen train station, is filled with high-rise condos close to popular schools. Children living in the district can attend Shenzhen Experimental School, a renowned public institution offering primary, junior and senior high school classes. Many students at the school go on to prestigious institutions such as Peking University, Tsinghua University and the University of Hong Kong.

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