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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Tuning sales pitch to celebrities' homes

By Wu Yiyao (China Daily)

13:42, April 16, 2012

The former home of Kang Youwei (1825-1927) in Beijing's Xuanwu district. Kang was a pro-reformist scholar, thinker and artist who advocated constitutional monarchy during the late Qing dynasty (1644-1911) period. Kang's other home in Shanghai, a 210 square meter apartment, was recently offered for sale at 9.5 million yuan ($1.5 million) or about 45,240 yuan per square meter. Former homes of famous people are a rarity in Shanghai and investment in such properties may bring considerable profits in the long run, according to Xie Feiyu, an agent with Xinyou Real Estate Agency in Shanghai's Jing'an district. [Photo / China Daily]

An apartment labeled as the former residence of a famous Chinese calligrapher and ideologue has sparked controversy over the cultural value of property in Shanghai, amid a slowdown in the real estate sector.

The 210 square meter apartment, priced at 9.5 million yuan ($1.5 million) or about 45,240 yuan per square meter, is said to be the former home of Kang Youwei (1825-1927), a pro-reformist scholar, thinker and artist who advocated constitutional monarchy during the late Qing dynasty (1644-1911) period.

Another 28 square meter property in the same compound, Zhonghua Xincun, which was renovated in 1936, was priced at 600,000 yuan, or 27,000 yuan per square meter. The average price of the compound was about 27,077 yuan per square meter in March, but rocketed to 36,920 yuan per square meter in April, a 36.35 percent month-on-month increase, according to online property trading platform Anjuke.com.

Xie Feiyu, an agent with Xinyou Real Estate Agency in Jing'an district, said the Kang apartment pushed up the average price of the compound.

"Old homes of past celebrities are a rarity in Shanghai and investment in such apartments may bring considerable profits in the long run," Xie said.

Since the Kang apartment was included in Xie's list of offerings in late March, more than 10 people have made inquiries but not a single one has looked at the apartment, the agent said.

"Buyers are quite price sensitive. In their eyes the price might be too high and they might wait for a lower quote," Xie said.

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