Shenzhen, Shanghai home sales plunge after rules tightened

Shenzhen, Shanghai home sales plunge after rules tightened
11/04/2016 , by , in INTERNATIONAL

Home sales in the red-hot property markets of Shanghai and Shenzhen tumbled sharply in the week after authorities made it tougher to buy homes in the cities to prevent a property bubble, surveys by a major Chinese realtor show.

After Shenzhen and Shanghai property prices had jumped 57 percent and 20.6 percent in February from a year earlier, local governments tightened downpayment requirements for second homes and raised the eligibility bar for non-residents to buy in the cities,” reported by Reuters.

In the week beginning March 28, the first after the new rules took effect, the total floor area sold in Shanghai fell 60 percent from the previous week to 283,600 square metres, according to nationwide agency Hopefluent Real Properties (China), whose surveys are based largely on government data.

Shenzhen sales fell 28.2 percent to 71,000 square metres.

While much of China’s property market has been in the doldrums for two or three years after an overbuilding frenzy left a backlog of unsold and unfinished developments, life has been easy for realtors in China’s first-tier cities.

“Property agents now have to make calls again. They didn’t have to (call clients) before the tightening; business came to them,” said Joe Zhou, Jones Lang LaSalle’s east China head of research, adding client foot traffic dropped around 30 percent in the past two weeks.

Some would-be buyers like Zhang Xiaohua, an IT designer at Chinese computer-maker Lenovo, said the measures had hit hard.

“I can’t buy now, and I don’t have much hope of buying in the future,” said the 27-year old, after Shanghai raised the requirement that buyers without local residence permits must have paid Shanghai taxes for at least five years, up from two.

“I’m scared there will be more policies targeting non-locals.”

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