7 detained for spreading property rumors
Seven real estate agents in Shanghai have been detained for spreading rumors about new government property restrictions, which have been blamed for a jump in divorce rates and a buying frenzy in China’s commercial hub, local police announced.
The seven suspects allegedly spread rumors online over new property curbs for better sales and commission fees, according to a police statement.
Rumors spread on social media and websites since late August said that under a new regulation in the city starting Sept 1, those who have been divorced less than a year will face restrictions and higher minimum down payments and mortgage interest rates.
The rumors triggered a rush to marriage registrar’s offices in Shanghai, even though the city government later denied it was planning any changes to the city’s home purchasing rules.
Home sales in the city nearly doubled in the week of August 22-28 compared with the previous week, as buyers anticipated stricter rules. Housing prices also went up 5.6 percent from the previous week.