Caixin
May 24, 2017 05:50 PM
ECONOMY

Quick Take: Beijing Moves to Ease Jitters Over Converted Commercial Housing

The Beijing city government has moved to clarify recent property curbs in a bid to reassure the housing market. Photo: Visual China
The Beijing city government has moved to clarify recent property curbs in a bid to reassure the housing market. Photo: Visual China

The Beijing city government said on Tuesday it would allow some existing commercial housing projects to be resold, in an apparent bid to reassure the market after it was rattled by a ban on turning commercial buildings into residences.

In a change to previous property curbs introduced in March, legitimate owners of commercial housing will be allowed to resell their properties to qualified individual buyers and provide options to lease the property.

Qualified individual buyers refers to those who don’t own property in Beijing or have paid tax or social security in the capital for five consecutive years or more on the day of purchase, according to the latest announcement from the Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Rural-Urban Development, published on its official WeChat account.

Buyers who signed an online sales contract with developers before March 26 will also be allowed to keep modified features that made commercial housing projects livable. Signing an online contract is a compulsory procedure for property transactions.

The updated rules also stipulate that real estate developers who had obtained presale certificates before March 26 be allowed to keep the modified livable features in the commercial housing projects as they are. Presale certificates are official documents issued by the government to allow developers to sell their property.

The city government stressed that real estate agencies can continue to conduct business on behalf of owners who intend to sell or rent commercial housing, but they will not be allowed to market such properties as “livable.” Analysts say this clause ensures that property agencies stay in line with the government’s stance on cooling the housing market.

Transactions for commercial housing plummeted in Beijing on the heels of the policy restrictions, which were rolled out on March 26. Commercial housing refers to a hotel-like apartment in a development originally approved and built as a commercial project but converted into more livable housing units.

Contact reporter Pan Che (chepan@caixin.com)

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