Q&A: Property prices in China

Rebecca Zhang, an estate agent with Beijing Ascot Realty, talks about property prospects in the Dragon economy.

Rebecca Zhang, an agent with Beijing Ascot Realty that deals with top-of-the-range properties in the Chinese capital, talks about trends in the property market.

q What is happening to prices now?

a At this moment, prices are going up, but the increase is much slower than before. In Beijing, in the last six months I would say they have increased 7 per cent.

q How much do the most expensive apartments cost?

a Right now it's 30,000 yuan (Dh17,268) per square metre. For a two-bedroom apartment of 100 sq metres, that means 3 million yuan. We've had several clients in the last month, they want a two-bedroom apartment in Beijing for 2m yuan, but we tell them it's impossible at the moment. They think 2m yuan is a lot of money, but it's not here.

q Who is buying luxury apartments?

a One part is the people who work for the government. They purchase the apartment with cash. Another type is business people.

q How are you expecting prices to change in the near future?

a In Beijing, I think the prices will remain stable, but in six months' time I think they will start going up slightly, but not drop down. It's just a slower increase than before. There are still a lot of people who want to come and live and work here, because here you have so many opportunities. A lot of people have the cash and they will invest in Beijing and other cities.

q Is there any chance of a crash in prices?

I don't think so. At the moment, it's different with America or other countries … Right now the individuals have got the ability to pay for the mortgage or they pay cash.

* Daniel Bardsley

Published: August 31, 2011 04:00 AM

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