Expatriate families in Shenzhen are allowed to buy more than one home in the city, but individual family members are restricted to just one each, a spokesman for the municipal housing and land resources bureau said yesterday.
The spokesman was clarifying a regulation that bans foreigners and overseas Chinese from buying multiple apartments in Shenzhen.
The regulation, effective July 10, did not say whether a family could buy a second home.
"If both the expat wife and husband have been working in the city for over one year, each of them can buy a home," said the spokesman, adding that residents of Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and other overseas Chinese can each buy a home here too.
"However, if the husband and the wife have jointly bought one apartment here, neither of them can buy another apartment," said the spokesman.
Foreigners have to work or study in the city for a year before buying a home in Shenzhen, according to the regulation. However, residents of Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and overseas Chinese are not subject to the restriction.
"The economic activities of expatriates who have been working or studying in China are counted into GDP, and so they are allowed to buy a house for their own use. Overseas Chinese can also buy an apartment in Shenzhen," said the spokesman.
Foreigners are required to produce work contracts and employment certificates or produce university enrollment certificates when buying apartments, according to the regulation.
Meanwhile, overseas buyers are not allowed to purchase offices in the city, according to the bureau.
Only overseas companies and organizations with branches in Shenzhen are allowed to buy offices here, and they have to sign a declaration that the property will be used by themselves, according to the regulation.
Overseas companies and organizations cannot buy residential homes here unless they are registered property investors, according to the regulation.
Foreigners and overseas Chinese who have signed contracts to buy houses before July 10 are not restricted by the regulation, according to the spokesman.
The spokesman said the regulation would help curb speculation in the property market.
Official statistics show that 7 to 8 percent of homebuyers in Shenzhen are overseas Chinese and foreigners.
Around 14,000 foreigners are living in Shenzhen on a long-term basis, according to government figures.
(Shenzhen Daily September 13, 2007)