Has the Shanghai laowai (老外) bug got into you? Have you been thinking of making Shanghai your new home? If so, then before you settle down you might want to check out these new regulations. According to China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Rural Development, purchases of apartments/houses by foreigners could be restricted or even capped in a move to combat speculative money from overseas.
If the rumors are true then these new rules, fresh out of Beijing, would mean that foreigners can only purchase one flat for their own personal use, and are required to provide proof of having worked in the country for at least one year prior to the purchase. Furthermore, overseas companies would only be permitted to buy non-residential properties in cities where they are registered.
The government is getting stricter and stricter with housing rules for expats. Back in the good old days of 2002 foreigners could buy property as free as locals. Revisions to the regulation came in 2006 which then required foreigners to demonstrate they had worked/studied for more than a year in China, but did not limit the number of home purchases allowed by overseas individuals. Yang Hongxu, an analyst with Shanghai-based E-house China Research and Development Institute, said that “The new policy, the most stringent on property purchases by foreigners so far in China, is in line with the country’s latest tightening measures to rein in property speculation”.
Considering the extortionate prices of property in Shanghai, we are wondering how many foreigners are actually willing/able to purchase property here?!