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Two-thirds buy homes before marriage

By Hu Yuanyuan  (China Daily)

13:18, October 30, 2012

Visitors at Housing Expo 2012 in Hainan, held in the southern province's capital, Haikou, last month. About a third of newlyweds say they would like to buy a new home in the next two years, according to a survey. [Photo/China Daily]

Nearly two-thirds of Chinese people prefer to buy homes before they get married, while the average price they are willing to pay for an apartment is 13.4 times their annual family income, a survey showed on Monday.

The survey, jointly conducted by house.ifeng.com, Horizon Research Consultancy Group and World Union Property Ltd, interviewed thousands of young people living in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou.

Out of those who got married without owning an apartment, 29.4 percent said they would like to buy a home in the next two years. Around 11 percent of single people also said they would like to do the same in the following two years.

"After the government launched the measures restricting the number of homes a family can buy, the property market has been dominated by self-use home buyers, and this trend is set to continue," said Li Guoping, chairman of UP Group, a real estate consultancy firm.

Since March, the property market's recovery has been mainly driven by the self-use buyers, Li said.

The average price of new homes has increased nearly 30 percent so far this year in Beijing, industry data showed.

Two types of homes are selling well this year: two-bedroom apartments with relatively affordable price tags, and high-end residential apartments and villas, said Carlby Xie, head of research at real estate consultancy Colliers International (Beijing).

However, the soaring property prices have killed the dreams of many potential buyers.

About 84 percent of those polled said that the existing property prices were higher than they could afford. Among the four cities, Shenzhen saw the highest proportion of those answers with 90.4 percent, followed by Beijing with 84.2 percent.

Most of those polled said that they are willing to accept an apartment with a total price of about 800,000 yuan ($127,000). But the average price of homes in the four cities stood at about 20,000 yuan per square meter, indicating that they can only afford a relatively small apartment.

One-third of the couples interviewed said that they would use about 30 percent of their combined incomes to pay their mortgages, while 60.5 percent of the couples would have to get financial support from their parents, the survey said.

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