Buying frenzy in Hangzhou puts homes out of reach for most

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/9/25 18:43:40

Homebuyers select apartments in a sales center in Hangzhou on Saturday. Photo: CFP

Models in a sales center show that most of an area's apartments have already been sold on September 22. Photo: IC

Saturday, when a new residential building came onto the market in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, the sales center was overcrowded with prospective homebuyers.

This became a common scene in the run up to the G20 Leaders Summit that was held in the city in September. According to statistics compiled by local property news portal, in the second week of September, 10,100 apartments were sold in the city, which means 1,442 apartments were bought each day. That works out to be about one apartment sold every minute.

The housing market in Hangzhou is experiencing its fastest ever period of growth, largely thanks to the G20 summit and the Asian Games that will be held there in 2022. Many buildings that were on the market for a long time have finally been snapped up due to this rapidly heating market.

A large number of the purchasers are investors from other parts of the country like Beijing and Guangzhou. Statistics show that almost 40 percent of the apartments sold in the week following the G20 summit were bought by out-of-towners.

To regulate the soaring market, Hangzhou started to limit house purchases on September 18, with families without a local hukou registration being limited to buying one apartment in many areas of the city.

This makes Hangzhou the 10th city in China to bring in such limits in this year following similar policies in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. This policy caused a purchase peak on September 18. A total of 3,265 new apartments - including 3,035 apartments in the restricted areas - were sold, setting new one-day records.

As the latest statistics from China's National Bureau of Statistics show, the prices of new homes in 64 cities and second-hand houses in 57 cities has been soaring in August, among the 70 surveyed big and middle-sized cities, with Beijing and Shanghai leading the first-tier cities.


People flood into the show flat of an apartment building that is about to go on sale on September 14. Photo: CFP

Homebuyers pack into a sales center on Saturday. Photo: CFP

A construction worker works on a building, September 19. Photo: CFP

Global Times
Newspaper headline: Home hype

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