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Buyers fear commercial housing presale traps

(Xinhua)

08:51, October 19, 2012

BEIJING, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- The new luxury apartment Zhou bought in downtown Beijing did not bring her a pleasant and comfortable life. Instead, she and her family were forced to move out after excess levels of formaldehyde were detected in the house.

After moving to the apartment in Beijing's Chaoyang district in May, Zhou and her family started feeling uncomfortable and fell ill frequently. They decided to move out temporarily and rent another home.

Professional home inspectors checked the home Zhou bought and found that the levels of formaldehyde gas emitted by the furniture in her home exceeded normal levels.

She purchased the home about three years ago at a price of more than 100,000 yuan (about 15,867 U.S. dollars) per square meter. The price amounts to the annual income of many middle-class people in the capital.

Home buyers have frequently come across quality control problems in new housing, a phenomenon stemming from the practice of using presales to sell new homes before construction is actually completed.

"The problem is that after buyers pay for their future houses, they cannot monitor their quality," said Cao Jing, a resident of Jinan, capital of east China's Shandong province.

Cao bought her house in 2009. But when she moved to the new house in 2010, she found cracks in the walls and a water leak in the bathroom, as well as a problem with the apartment's electrical wiring.

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