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Home Housing & Finance How to Find a Proper House (一)
How to Find a Proper House (一)
Housing & Finance
Purchasing or Renting a Home and Office in Beijing

If you are a newcomer in China, you may find it difficult to locate a house for yourself. The Beijing Housing Service Corporation for Diplomatic Missions will provide free consult service on office or residence housing, including recommending to foreign institutions suitable candidate houses when necessary.

You may also rely on trust-worthy housing intermediaries to do the job for you. When purchasing houses, you need to check whether the real estate developer has the full set of formalities for the sale.

After you have chosen the house you need to go through relevant formalities with Beijing Municipal Housing and Land Administration Bureau.

Resident foreign correspondents and foreign news agencies in Beijing may send a written application to rent a home or office to the Beijing Diplomatic Housing Service Corporation, detailing specific requirements. The corporation can provide you with appropriate housing or offices, and is also responsible for building management and maintenance. Resident foreign correspondents and foreign news agencies may also rent or purchase homes and offices approved for foreigners in Chaoyang or Dongcheng districts. If a resident correspondent or news agency intends to change an office or residence, the IPC should be notified in writing.

Foreign correspondents and news agencies in Shanghai and Guangzhou should find homes and offices in accordance with local regulations.

Rules on Second Homes Purchase in Shanghai

Four Shanghai districts have banned people from overseas from buying second homes within their jurisdictions.

The move precedes the issue of city government rules for overseas property investors, which are still under discussion.

District transaction centers in Pudong New Area and Jing'an, Xuhui and Baoshan districts have stopped accepting applications from foreigners and Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau residents who want to buy a house if they already own a home in the city, according to staff at the centers.

Transaction centers transfer the title deeds of property from owners to buyers.
Pudong New Area has also stopped transactions for overseas individuals and companies investing in office and retail property.

Pudong said its new policy came into effect in the middle of last month, while Xuhui said the rules were effective from yesterday. Jing'an and Baoshan said they halted the transactions on July 24 when the central government introduced guidelines to restrict property investment by foreigners.

Under the national framework policy set by six government bodies including the Ministry of Construction and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange in July, overseas individuals must live for at least one year on the mainland before they can buy a house. They must also promise that the house is for personal use.

Fang Lei, spokeswoman for the Shanghai Housing, Land and Resources Administration Bureau, said the government was still drawing up detailed rules, but declined to give a timetable for the issuance.

When issued, the rules will cover the whole city and district governments will be expected to fall in line.
Industry insiders said the central government's guidelines were difficult to implement because they were vague over the definition of "personal use."

"That's why some transaction centers have interpreted the general policy as barring foreigners from buying a second house," said an industry insider who preferred to remain anonymous. "Otherwise, it's too easy for buyers to claim that a second, third or even more purchases are all personal."

The central government introduced the July guidelines amid growing concern that the sudden influx of foreign investment would increase housing speculation.


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