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ECONOMY

Beijing’s Property Crackdown Puts Owners in Limbo

By Zhang Xin, Wang Xiaoqing, Hou Wen and Fran Wang
A pedestrian looks at a commercial property in Beijing on Aug. 25, 2013. Prices of commercial properties were 40%-60% lower than for residential properties. Numerous buyers who were not eligible to buy ordinary homes purchased residences converted from commercial properties. Photo: IC
A pedestrian looks at a commercial property in Beijing on Aug. 25, 2013. Prices of commercial properties were 40%-60% lower than for residential properties. Numerous buyers who were not eligible to buy ordinary homes purchased residences converted from commercial properties. Photo: IC

(Beijing) – Desperate to get on the housing ladder, Pang Fei shelled out more than 1.1 million yuan ($160,000) last year for a 38-square-meter (409-square-feet) loft apartment under construction on the outskirts of Beijing.

It was far from ideal, but at a cost of around 13 times the average annual salary in the Chinese capital it was the best the 35-year-old could afford. He was afraid that after years of waiting in vain for prices to fall, only to see them soar almost out of reach, this could be his last chance to fulfill his dream of owning his own home.

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