Beijing eases restrictions on expat property purchase

Published:  5 Dec at 6 PM
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Beijing’s government is set to loosen restrictions on expat real estate purchases from early next year.

As China becomes ever more popular with expatriates seeking to live and work in its unique environment, the good news is that expats in Beijing will be able to buy a home with just their work permit as a qualification. At present, foreigners must live and work in the city for at least one year before being allowed to buy a residential property.

Even although Beijing’s property prices are soaring, many expats committed to remaining in China in the medium or long term are likely to be interested in buying a home, either as an investment or because they wish to put down roots in the city. Real estate agents are reporting increases of 50 per cent over last year in the number of foreigners wishing to buy property.

When questioned by local media as to their motivation in buying a Beijing home, both foreign property owners and realtors dealing with expatriates came to the same conclusions, with convenience and lifestyle along with investment potential being the main spurs for decisions to buy rather than rent. However, agents are advising their client to keep up to date on the city’s even-changing policies on housing.

According to one expatriate who’s moved to the edge of Beijing’s downtown area, the needs of his large family and five dogs caused him and his Chinese wife to settle on a substantial property including a small farm. Changping district, he says, is close to historic sites of interest and is the perfect location for his restaurant as well as for raising a family.
Customers are attracted by his home-grown produce and home-made alcoholic drinks including fruit brandies.

Another working expat bought his condo both as an investment and as a cheaper option than paying rent. A bonus, he says, is the time saved by living three minutes from his workplace, thus saving ages negotiating Beijing’s notorious traffic.
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