Housing speculators continue betting on China-NK border cities

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/5/17 21:50:49

After Dandong, a border town in Northeast China's Liaoning Province, saw home prices surge amid North Korea talks, Hunchun, another border city about 68 kilometers from North Korean free trade zone Rason, saw its home prices jump more than 20 percent in recent days.

Some residents in Hunchun, which is located in Northeast China's Jilin Province, told the Global Times on Thursday that the average home price had surged by about 20 percent to 30 percent, following signs of improvement on the Korean Peninsula as well as talk of North Korea's possible opening-up.

"It has turned out to be a completely different situation now, compared with last year, when the Chinese authorities imposed sanctions on China-North Korea trade," a local official surnamed Liang said.

Local seafood merchants in Hunchun lost hundreds of millions of yuan after the ban on trading with North Korea was imposed by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce in August 2017.

When the Global Times visited the city last year, most properties were vacant. Some had turned into "ghost towns" due to sanctions on North Korea.
"When the Korean Peninsula situation improved, investors came to the city. Some of them are from Beijing, or Changchun [capital city of Jilin Province]," Liang said.

A realtor surnamed Cui told the Global Times that the highest average home price in Hunchun is now 6,000 yuan ($943.20) per square meter.

She said that if the buyer pays the full price, they can get the property ownership certificate in just two days. By comparison, in Beijing, homebuyers usually make down payments at least a month in advance in order to get their ownership certificate.

Another resident surnamed Wu told the Global Times that the surge in home prices will cause a market bubble, as local demand is not strong, unless North Korea pushes forward its reform.

Posted in: ECONOMY

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