Shanghai Housing authority tweaks property policy
The housing authority in the Chinese city of Shanghai appeared to alter a property policy following protests over the weekend, while stressing that the legal rights of property buyers would be respected.
The housing bureau said buyers of commercial properties can take delivery of the properties if they have signed purchase contracts, while developers must also accommodate buyers that want to cancel contracts.
This is in contrast to a statement on May 17, in which Shanghai announced measures to “clean-up and rectify” commercial office projects that had been converted into apartments, in agrey area property developers had exploited by acquiring land atcheaper prices than residential-zoned land.
The original statement said properties that did not meetrequirements of commercial property could not be delivered tobuyers or registered in property transaction databases,effectively forbidding these properties from being used asresidences.
“Clean-up and rectification work must be carried outaccording to laws and regulations, while earnestly protectingthe legal rights and interests of buyers,” the Shanghai Housingand Urban-Rural Development Commissions said in a notice on itswebsite on Monday.
In rare demonstrations in a major commercial district ofShanghai, hundreds of protesters on Saturday rallied against themeasures announced in May, as some homeowners felt aggrievedafter locking themselves into a contract then being leftstranded when the changes were announced.
One buyer who participated in the protests told Reuters thatfollowing the Monday statement, it was still unclear ifpurchasers would be able to use the properties as a residence.
Protests against similar measures in Beijing were beingplanned for a major commercial area in the capital this weekend,according to information circulating in mobile messaging groupsseen by Reuters.
The government wants to keep property speculation andsoaring real estate prices in check, and has required developersand buyers to rectify violations such as separately installedtoilets and kitchens before units can be sold on, effectivelyrendering them uninhabitable and worth a fraction of thepurchase price.
Amid tighter restrictions on purchases of traditionalresidential properties, sales of mixed-use properties took offlast year in Beijing and Shanghai as they were not subject topurchase restrictions.