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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Subway expansion enables flight to the cheaper suburbs

By Wang Ying  (China Daily)

13:26, December 21, 2011

New residential buildings keep going up. This construction site is in Rizhao, Shandong province.(China Daily/Chen Weifeng)

SHANGHAI - In the university town of Songjiang, about an hour's drive from downtown Shanghai, a real estate developer is making a big push to lure buyers to a project romantically named Milano Palace.

Shanghai Milan Property Development Co has hired a bus to ferry young couples to the site. As they alight, these prospective buyers are greeted by a horde of salespeople from various agencies waving brochures at their prey.

The main attraction of this project, said Wang Chenyun, a sales agent for Shanghai Deovolente Realty Co, is that all the apartments are the same size, about 90 square meters, which is "ideal for newly married couples".

The average price of an apartment there, around 1.17 million ($184,500), seems right for those buyers, too. To sweeten the deal, Wang said, "We are offering everyone who signs up today a fat discount."

Coco Yang of Milan Property said nearly half of the young couples who saw the apartments that November day made the plunge on the spot to take advantage of the 10 to 15 percent discount.

"I am really tempted," said Chen Weiming, 27, a white-collar worker at a foreign company in Shanghai, while his girlfriend nodded by his side. But, he said, "I want to see some more apartments in other suburbs before making up my mind."

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