Recent Home Buyers Take to Streets in Protest as China Housing Prices Plummet

Recent Home Buyers Take to Streets in Protest as China Housing Prices Plummet
12/10/2018 , by , in INTERNATIONAL

China, for several years, has experienced higher real-estate sales in early October, earning the period the nickname “Golden Week.”

This year, however, the market has fared poorly, with developers doling out properties for steep discounts—to the dismay of many recent buyers across the country.

While the ambitious promotions had only marginal effects in boosting sales, they left many recent customers feeling cheated about the cost of their new homes.

More than 40 new homeowners in the city of Jingdezhen in Jiangxi Province gathered in protest outside the sales office of a property developer, and angrily shouted complaints such as “refund our money” and “we bought in the evening, and the price dropped in the morning.”

in Shanghai’s high-end Pudong District, dozens of new homeowners congregated in front of a housing development, carrying signs emblazoned with the slogan “Refund my hard-earned money.” The developer, Country Garden, had lowered prices from 35,000 yuan per square meter ($470 per square foot) to 26,000 yuan overnight.

The sales office of another Country Garden project in Jiangxi’s Shaorao city was pelted with eggs thrown by hundreds of angry buyers, who also destroyed the office decorations while demanding refunds. During the Golden Week, the company had lowered prices to 7,000 yuan per square meter from 10,000 yuan.

Similar protests broke out in other Chinese municipalities, including the eastern cities of Hangzhou, Hefei, and Zhangzhou, and Pingdingshan in central China.

One Capital, a real estate project in Zhangzhou, a city in southern coastal China’s Fujian Province, multiple homeowners held banners to protest after the company had lowered the price to between 12,000 and 14,000 yuan per square meter from 18,000 yuan.

According to data from CITIC Jiantou Securities, total sales during Golden Week this year were the lowest since 2014, even as developers in almost all Chinese cities offered generous discounts, free cars, and even 10-percent down payments to attract customers.

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