Mi­cro home deals ruled il­le­gal

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By CHAIHUA in Shen­zhen grace@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

Four six-square me­ter apart­ments sold this week­end in Shen­zhen made a splash in the me­dia, but the sales were later de­clared il­le­gal due to unau­tho­rized mod­i­fi­ca­tions made to the prop­er­ties.

Nick­named “pi­geon­holes”, these mini stu­dios are lo­cated in a 15-story build­ing called Qiaocheng Shangyu, which of­fers 11 apart­ments at sizes rang­ing from 5.73 to 7.48 square me­ters, and 160 other units of 35 to 45 square me­ters.

But the Ur­ban Plan­ning, Land and Re­sources Com­mis­sion in the city’s Nan­shan dis­trict on Mon­day said the ac­tual size of these four apart­ments ranged from 12 to 20 square me­ters af­ter il­le­gal changes were made to public shared ar­eas.

The dis­trict’s su­per­vi­sory bureau of land plan­ning on Mon­day forced the man­agers of the prop­erty com­pany to de­mol­ish the il­le­gal con­struc­tions, can­cel the four trad­ing con­tracts, and sus­pend all sales ac­tiv­i­ties.

The dis­trict’s author­ity said four real es­tate agen­cies — Homelink Real Es­tate Bro­ker­age Co, Mid­land Realty, Cen­taline Prop­erty and Qfang.com — are also be­ing in­ves­ti­gated for il­le­gal deal­ing.

Though the size of these apart­ments is ex­tremely lim­ited, they were fully fur­nished as a com­plete home with kitchen, bath­room, one fold­ing bed and about three win­dows.

Be­sides their size, an­other at­trac­tion was their lo­ca­tion— just a street away from the Shen­zhen High-Tech In­dus­trial Park, which hosts most of the city’s tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies, and a few min­utes’ walk to shop­ping cen­ter and metro sta­tion in Nan­shan, the city’s most ex­pen­sive res­i­den­tial dis­trict.

These mini homes were sold at a fixed price of 880,000 yuan($133,330), much more af­ford­able than nor­mal sized homes in the same dis­trict, which re­tail for mil­lions or even tens of mil­lions yuan, due to lo­cal sky­rock­et­ing home prices.

Song Ding, direc­tor of the Tourism and Real Es­tate In­dus­try Re­search Cen­ter at China Devel­op­ment In­sti­tute, a Shen­zhen-based think tank, said the ex­is­tence of such tiny apart­ments is a nec­es­sary out­come of Shen­zhen’s rock­et­ing home prices, which have be­come one of the na­tion’s high­est and fastest growth.

The av­er­age price of new houses in Shen­zhen reached 57,728 yuan per square me­ter in Au­gust, an in­crease of about 60 per­cent com­pared with last year, ac­cord­ing to the city’s Ur­ban Plan­ning, Land and Re­sources Com­mis­sion.

Song said that some res­i­dents now can­not even af­ford a small-size house of 50 to 60 squareme­ters in down town or ones an hour’s drive away from where they work.

880,000 yuan price of the mini homes

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

A prop­erty project by Coun­try Gar­den Hold­ings Co Ltd in Zhen­jiang, Jiangsu province, at­tracts home­buy­ers.

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