Top Biz News

Rush to buy real estate despite high prices

By Wang Wei (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-12-30 07:54
Large Medium Small

A majority of Beijing residents are concerned about unaffordable housing prices in the city, a new central bank survey said.

Of the 1,400 respondents who participated in the People's Bank of China consumer behavior study, more than 80 percent said housing prices are too high in Beijing.

However, 20 percent of those surveyed said they are considering buying an apartment within three months despite the rapidly escalating costs.

Almost 35 percent said they are saving money to buy an apartment, the study said.

But a much larger 60 percent said they believe real estate prices will continue to increase.

"Living in metropolitan Beijing is very hard," said Zhang Ran, 27, who is planning to buy an apartment after Spring Festival in February.

"My monthly income after taxes is only about 4,000 yuan," she said.

Zhang added that she hopes to buy an apartment between the third and fourth ring roads.

Average housing prices in this area are more than 20,000 yuan per square meter, according to the Beijing Bureau of Statistics.

Related readings:
Rush to buy real estate despite high prices Wen promises action against soaring housing prices
Rush to buy real estate despite high prices Housing prices go on rising
Rush to buy real estate despite high prices China denies to release rural land to curb housing prices
Rush to buy real estate despite high prices China's housing prices expect slight dip in Q4

After the central government announced it would end a tax exemption policy on Jan 1, buyers have been rushing to take advantage of the policy.

The policy allows for sales of second-hand properties purchased within five years to be exempt from a 5.5 percent transfer tax.

Next month, the tax will be reimposed on sales of properties within two years of the purchase date.

A real estate agent surnamed Li from the Wangjing branch of Lianjia Housing Agency told METRO yesterday that the company has recently been selling three to four apartments daily.

In June, the agency sold one apartment every two weeks, Li said.

Sales of properties within two years of the purchase date account for more than 40 percent of total sales volume for second-hand housing.

The sales volume of such properties reached 13,576 for the first 10 days of December. This was an increase of 60 percent compared to November, according to recent figures from the Beijing Property and Exchange Management website.