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Expats snap up property deals

Some expats are cashing in on Beijing's property boom and believe there are bargains to be had despite price rises.

Statistics from the Beijing Real Estate Transaction website showed that sales for future delivery apartments in August stood at 12,117 units, down 5.6 percent from the previous month.

But the figure is still 204.5 percent higher than the same period last year. The average property price in Beijing stood at 14,825 yuan ($2,200) per sq m, up 42 percent from January.

Eric Leung, a Hong Kong resident working in Beijing, bought his third apartment last week, despite property sales falling in China's major cities since August.

"Compared with Hong Kong, the property price in Beijing is still within a reasonable range," he said. "And I will take it as a long-term investment rather than a short-term speculation."

Leung, who is also a professional manager in the real estate sector, said property in a sought-after location in Hong Kong now stood at around 300,000 yuan per sq m, but his new purchase, a decorated apartment 3,000 m from the International Trade Center, the landmark of Beijing's CBD, cost him just 21,000 yuan per sq m.

"Lots of my foreign friends are also seeking properties in Beijing," he said.

"Though the transaction volumes fell a bit recently, I don't think the price will also follow suit.

"The strong rebound in the first half of the year brought property developers ample cash, so they are not likely to cut the price even if the transactions decrease.

"Compared with Shanghai, I believe property purchase in Beijing is a safer choice now. But I do find that banks are more cautious in offering mortgages."

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 Source : China Daily  Editor: Ivy
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