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China – Buying Property

Legal Restrictions on Foreign Ownership of Property in China

In China, foreign nationals are generally allowed to purchase property, but there are some restrictions in place. Foreigners are only allowed to purchase one property per person, and the property must be used as a primary residence. Additionally, there are certain areas where foreign nationals are not allowed to purchase property, such as military or state-owned areas. It’s important to check the specific regulations in the area where you’re considering purchasing property. 

Average Property Prices in China

The average property price in China varies depending on location and type of property. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the average price of a property in 2020 was around ¥12,000 per square meter ($1,818 per square meter). However, prices can range from around ¥5,000 to ¥40,000 per square meter ($750 to $6,074 per square meter), depending on the location, size and condition of the property. 

Popular Locations to Buy Property in China

Currently, some of the most popular cities to buy property in China include Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. These cities offer a wide range of properties, from affordable apartments to luxury homes, and have strong economic growth and job opportunities. 

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Upcoming Areas for Property Investment

Some upcoming areas that are becoming attractive options for property buyers include: 

  • Chongqing: A city located in the southwest of China, known for its low cost of living and growing economy.
  • Chengdu: A city located in the southwest of China, known for its low cost of living and growing economy.
  • Wuhan: A city located in the central of China, known for its low cost of living and growing economy.

New Trends in the Chinese Property Market

In recent years, there has been an increase in demand for sustainable and energy-efficient homes. Additionally, more people are looking for properties with outdoor spaces, as well as homes that are suitable for working from home. The Chinese government has also been implementing policies to curb property speculation and price increases in certain cities. 

Is Buying Property a Good Investment in China?

Buying property can be a good investment in China, but it’s important to do your research and consider the specific market conditions in the area where you’re considering purchasing property. Generally speaking, property values tend to appreciate over time, and owning property can provide a steady income stream through rental income. However, it’s also important to consider the costs associated with owning property, such as property taxes, maintenance and repair costs, and mortgage payments. Additionally, it’s worth noting that the Chinese government can implement policies to curb property speculation and price increases in certain cities, which could affect the value of the property. 

Common Property Types in China The most common types of properties in China include:

  • Detached houses
  • Semi-detached houses
  • Townhouses
  • Apartments
  • Condos
  • Rural properties
  • Land only

It’s worth noting that China is a large country, so the variety of properties on offer is diverse. There are many options available, from affordable apartments to luxury homes and beachfront properties.

Typical House Buying Procedure in China

  1. Surveys and inspections: Before making an offer on a property, it is important to conduct a thorough inspection of the property, including any legal documents and land use rights. It is also recommended to hire a professional surveyor to conduct a property survey.

  2. Making an offer: Once you have found a property you wish to purchase, you will need to make an offer to the seller. This process is usually done through a real estate agent or property developer.

  3. Notary: It is required to have a notary involved in the transaction in order to verify the legal documents and ensure the transaction is legal. The notary will also register the transfer of ownership with the local government.

  4. Exchange contracts: After the offer is accepted and legal documents are verified, the buyer and seller will sign a purchase contract. The contract will include details such as the purchase price, payment schedule and any contingencies.

Finding a Reputable Lawyer When Buying a Property in China

  1. Reputable lawyer: It is important to find a reputable lawyer who is experienced in handling property transactions in China. You can ask for referrals from other expats or real estate agents, or search online for legal firms that specialize in property law in China.

  2. Professional organization: Lawyers in China do not need to be a member of a particular professional organization. However, it is recommended to hire a lawyer who is licensed to practice law in China.

  3. Cost: Lawyers in China typically charge an hourly rate for their services, which can range from RMB500-1,500 ($75-$225) per hour. The total cost will depend on the complexity of the transaction and the lawyer’s level of experience.

Pitfalls and Problems

  1. Language barriers: One common problem expats encounter when buying property in China is language barriers. It is important to hire a translator or a lawyer who speaks your native language to ensure that you fully understand the legal documents and the terms of the purchase contract.

  2. Complex legal system: China’s legal system can be complex and difficult to navigate for expats. It is important to have a reputable lawyer who is familiar with the laws and regulations related to property transactions in China.

  3. Property title: Some properties in China may have unclear or disputed property titles, which can cause problems during the buying process. It is important to conduct a thorough inspection of the property’s legal documents before making an offer.

Purchasing Property Through a Company

  1. Possible: It is possible to purchase property through a company in China. This can be beneficial for expats who are not eligible to purchase property in their own name, as well as for those who wish to invest in multiple properties.

  2. Examples: Examples of companies that can be used to purchase property in China include:

  • Foreign-invested enterprise (FIE): a legal entity established in China by foreign investors
  • Wholly foreign-owned enterprise (WFOE): a company that is entirely owned by foreign investors
  • Joint venture: a company established by foreign investors and Chinese investors
  1. Desirable: Depending on the specific situation,

    Purchasing Property Through a Company

    can be desirable, but it’s important to consider the legal, financial and taxation implications of doing so. It’s also important to consult with a lawyer experienced in this type of transaction to ensure everything is done

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