A member of the Guangdong People’s Political Consultative Committee (CPPCC), has suggested that the government should attract foreigners to buy homes in order to reduce excess inventory in the housing market.

Guangzhou. Photo: Wikicommons/HKFP remix.

Speaking at at a Guangdong CPPCC meeting this week, Yau Ka-yu said: “If we let foreigners buy houses, they will start spending in China,” reported Sina News. Yau cited the high number of luxury apartments unsold in Shenzhen.

The Chinese government has made destocking the housing inventory one of their main goals for this year. According to the Southern Metropolis Daily, Guangdong has a relatively small amount of housing inventory compared to other provinces. The city of Foshan represents the largest share, with a reported 4.1 million square meters of unsold housing space. However, some suspect that the number is three to four times higher.

Housing development in Shenzhen.

The central government restricted foreigners from buying property in China in 2006 in a bid to reduce speculation in the market. Foreign citizens were allowed to buy only one property for their own personal use.

China relaxed the rule in August last year, allowing foreigners and foreign companies to buy more properties. It also abolished the rule that foreigners must live in the country for one year before becoming eligible to purchase, according to the International Business Times. The move was seen as a step to alleviate pressures on a slowing Chinese economy.

Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.