Beijing to start lottery applications for homes

By Zhao Qian Source:Global Times Published: 2013-11-20 23:43:01

Beijing will make available applications to enter a lottery drawing to purchase low-cost homes designated only for residential needs, a new type of affordable housing, as early as the end of this month, an official of the Beijing Real Estate Association told the Global Times Wednesday.

"Qualified applicants could enter this lottery to get a chance to buy this new type of low-cost home," said Chen Zhi, secretary-general of the association.

This new type of affordable housing comes with stipulations. It cannot be r­esold in the first five years after being purchased; and if the homes are resold after five years, 30 percent of the profit will go to the government, according to measures to rein in the over-heated property market released on October 23 by five government departments including the Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.

Construction of 20,000 units of these low-cost homes will be started ­before the end of this year.

In order to qualify, prospective buyers must either hold a Beijing hukou (local residence registration) and own no more than one home in Beijing, while non-Beijing hukou holders must have paid social insurance and taxes in Beijing for five consecutive years and not own any homes in Beijing.

The prices of these homes, located outside the Fifth Ring Road, range from 10,000 yuan ($1,641) to 22,000 yuan per square meter, 30 percent lower than surrounding residential hoMes.

"These low-cost homes will be offered to buyers who couldn't afford expensive commercial homes, but whose incomes are too high to allow them to apply for low-rent houses," Chen noted.

But some qualified buyers for this new type of low-cost home still have concerns about fairness regarding the lottery application and buying processes.

"I am just wondering if there will be some back-door dealings enabling those who are not qualified candidates to buy the homes," Lu Shuai, a 31-year-old lawyer, who is married and has a little daughter, in Beijing, told the Global Times Wednesday.

Lu has been applying for another type of affordable home, which is only offered to Beijing hukou holders whose total household incomes is less than 88,000 yuan per year, for three years, but still has not succeeded "due to the huge ­demand by people in the city," Lu noted.

Chen said he "has no idea" about whether other types of affordable housing will still be offered in the future.

The central government has spoken out about the need to offer more affordable houses to those who cannot afford current rising home prices.

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