CHINA / Regional

Outsiders buy half of Beijing's homes
By Huan Xin (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-04-26 06:49

More than half of Beijing homes sold last year in the higher price bracket were bought by people from outside the capital.

That figure includes purchases by overseas buyers, who bought 13 per cent of more expensive homes, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said in its annual real estate report yesterday.

Visitors and home buyers visit a real estate show in Beijing in this April 9, 2006 photo. A research report says more than half of Beijing's costly homes were bought by people from outside Beijing. [newsphoto]

The report, entitled the "Blue Book of Real Estate," showed that about 52 per cent of apartments and villas, sold for an average of 11,467 yuan (US$1,416) per square metre or more, were purchased by people from outside the capital.

The average price per square metre for homes in Beijing is 6,725 yuan (US$830).

"With its special status as the nation's capital, Beijing has increasingly become home to people from other provinces and municipalities, as well as from abroad," the report said.

Only 38.4 per cent of expensive houses sold in the capital last year went to Beijing residents.

The remaining homes, 9.5 per cent of the total, were bought by companies and institutions, the report said, although the total number of top-end residences sold was not revealed.

However, the report did reveal that the total amount of residential space sold last year in all price brackets amounted to 40.79 million square metres.

In contrast to the luxury end of the market, local residents bought nearly 60 per cent of the 154,000 average-priced homes sold last year.

Overseas buyers bought just 2.2 per cent of the relatively low-priced houses, the report said.

The report also said that last year nearly one-quarter of houses approved for sale were priced at above 8,000 yuan (US$986) per square metre, an increase of 4.2 percentage points year-on-year.

A survey conducted by the Beijing Urban Construction Research Centre late last year found that only 9.3 per cent of local people could afford houses priced between 7,000 yuan (US$863) and 10,000 yuan (US$1,233) per square metre, the report said.

And only 1.5 per cent said they could buy houses worth more than 10,000 yuan (US$1,233) per square metre.

The report predicted prices in the Chinese capital would continue to increase this year, following a rise of nearly 20 per cent year-on-year in 2005.

But prices will not rise too steeply because there is ample supply, the report said.

Yang Shen, former president of the China Real Estate Association, yesterday said he believed house prices would rise for some time to come, as land is in short supply.

(China Daily 04/26/2006 page10)


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