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Foreigners cold to home buys despite policy flip

[ 2009-02-13 14:03]     字号 [] [] []  
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Eric Chan, a Hong Kong resident currently working in Beijing, had been feeling gung-ho ever since the city's municipal government reversed on Jan 23 its policy of restraining foreigners from home purchases.

The move had meant he could now think of buying a new house in the capital (apart from the one he owns in Guangzhou where he used to work three years ago) once home prices started to fall further.

But industry veterans said Beijing's property market has not witnessed much enthusiasm from foreigners after the policy reversal.

New enquires by foreigners have not shown an obvious increase in the past few days, said Hu Hanxiang, marketing manager of Star-River, a high-end residential project located along Beijing's East Fourth-Ring Road.

"They may be waiting for detailed rules supporting the loosening-up policy," he pointed out. On the other hand, the sluggishness could also be due to "January and February being usually dull months for property sales", he said.

Jin Bo, marketing manager of Yintai Center, said enquiries for Park Hyatt Penthouses, the most expensive apartment in Beijing, has also not seen an up tick.

"We have less than 10 units left. Most of our foreign buyers may have thought that we have sold them all," Jin explained.

For Chan, the rules relaxation could not have come at a better time. "I've been thinking of buying a new house in Beijing ever since I moved to the capital. The cancellation of the restraint offers me a fair chance," he said. He however clarified that he would not rush in to purchase an apartment as he believed there was yet room for property prices to fall.

"The luxury residential apartments, which I am targeting, have had very low transaction volumes since the latter half of 2008. So, I am still waiting for a more rational price," said Chan.

Although Shanghai still has not changed its home-purchase policy for foreigners, experts believe Beijing's move may well turn out to be a trend-setter.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Foreigners cold to home buys despite policy flip

Foreigners cold to home buys despite policy flipBrendan joined The China Daily in 2007 as a language polisher in the Language Tips Department, where he writes a regular column for Chinese English Language learners, reads audio news for listeners and anchors the weekly video news in addition to assisting with on location stories. Elsewhere he writes Op’Ed pieces with a China focus that feature in the Daily’s Website opinion section.

He received his B.A. and Post Grad Dip from Curtin University in 1997 and his Masters in Community Development and Management from Charles Darwin University in 2003. He has taught in Japan, England, Australia and most recently China. His articles have featured in the Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, The Asia News Network and in-flight magazines.