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February 5, 2010

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Tourist mecca Sanya to limit property purchases

NON-LOCALS will only be allowed to buy five houses or condos in China's southernmost resort city of Sanya in Hainan Province to stop speculation after the central government approved plans on December 31 to turn the tropical island into an international tourism destination.

Sanya's housing and urban-rural construction bureau published limitations against real estate speculation at the end of last month, said Li Honghai, director of the bureau.

Purchasers will need to show their identification cards to buy property, according to Li.

More than 80 percent of the houses sold in Sanya were for investment or speculation purposes, Li added.

Local housing prices soared immediately after the central government approved the plan over Hainan's tourism development, Yangtze Evening News reported yesterday. A development in Sanya even set a record of a 50 percent jump in a day, the report said.

Local residents have complained to state media that they are worried about being able to afford to live there.

Some Sanya developers still expressed optimism and suggested they could buy more property by using other people's ID cards.

But Li warned he would bring in tougher rules against housing accumulation, such as the confiscation of illegal profits or a fine as much as 25 percent of the purchasing price.


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