Frenzy of in­ter­est in sub­si­dized homes project

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - NATION - By JIN HAIXING jin­haix­ing@chi­

More than 100,000 Bei­jing res­i­dents — and ris­ing — are try­ing to get their hands on a gov­ern­mentsub­si­dized, af­ford­able hous­ing unit from the cap­i­tal’s first owner-oc­cu­pier com­mer­cial prop­erty project.

The de­vel­oper, Ever­grande Group’s Bei­jing branch, did not dis­close the ex­act num­ber of ap­pli­cants for the hous­ing but ac­knowl­edged at­tract­ing a huge num­ber in the first three days of the 15-day ap­pli­ca­tion pe­riod, which started at the end of Novem­ber.

From Nov 30 to Dec 2, the reg­is­tra­tion web­site for the project re­ceived more than 100,000 ap­pli­ca­tions, ac­cord­ing to an in­sider close to Ever­grande. The project has been del­uged in Oc­to­ber by the hous­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion au­thor­ity, the project was aimed at pro­vid­ing smaller homes for peo­ple in the lower-mid­dle in­come group. To qual­ify for the sub­sidy, a house must cost 30 per­cent less than the mar­ket price in the same area.

Own­ers are not al­lowed to sell the prop­erty within five years of pur­chase, the state­ment said. If a prop­erty is sold af­ter five years, the seller must pay 30 per­cent of any in­crease to the lo­cal fi­nance au­thor­ity.

The project is lo­cated in Dougezhuang town­ship in Chaoyang dis­trict, with an av­er­age price of 22,000 yuan ($3,600) per square me­ter.

Pri­or­ity will be given to those on Bei­jing’s af­ford­able-hous­ing and low­in­come hous­ing wait­ing lists, as well as to sin­gle peo­ple who are over 25 years old and with­out a house in Bei­jing, the au­thor­i­ties said.

By the end of 2014, the gov­ern­ment plans to pro­vide 70,000 such houses, au­thor­i­ties said.

An ar­chi­tec­tural engi­neer sur­named Chen sub­mit­ted his ap­pli­ca­tion on Dec 1.

“As a house pur­chaser, I hope that the gov­ern­ment will make sure that the lot­tery is con­ducted fairly and openly,” Chen, 26, said. He hoped the gov­ern­ment will pro­vide more such projects for res­i­dents.

But he also ex­pressed his con­cern that the project could give rise to spec­u­la­tion be­cause prices in Bei­jing’s hous­ing mar­ket seem to be ris­ing. Hu Yuanyuan con­trib­uted to this story.

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