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Chinese house hunters venture overseas

By Zhao Yanrong and Lu Chang (China Daily)

08:50, December 24, 2012

Staff members of a property group in London introduce their houses to Chinese customers at an exhibition in Beijing. [Photo/China Daily]

Sound education, residence permit draw growing interest from affluent families

At the recent Beijing International Property Expo, Wang Jing's eyes widened. At last, her dreams of finding the ideal home for her family were materializing.

The island country of Cyprus, which had a booth at the expo, offered a list of properties at steep discounts. She didn't know much about Cyprus, but that wasn't important.

Four years ago, when Wang gave birth to a boy, she decided that her family needed to buy a home in Haidian district of western Beijing to secure her son's place at a respected primary school in the area.

But as many Chinese homeowners know very well, housing prices in China's capital are through the roof. Frustration set in for Wang and her family.

But at the expo, Wang read about a beachfront apartment on the Mediterranean island. The price was 350,000 euros ($463,000), which is cheaper than many three-bedroom apartments in Haidian district.

"I am considering purchasing one. If my son cannot enroll in the best primary school in Beijing, I can still send him to study at the top universities in Europe 10 years later," the 33-year-old graphic designer said.

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