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China Focus: Property policies stir marriage concerns


19:40, April 03, 2013

BEIJING, April 3 (Xinhua) -- Many have complained that Chinese marriages are losing their romantic side to pragmatic calculation, partly due to new housing policies.

A string of new housing price control policies have sparked concern, as some couples have tried to sidestep the restrictions by getting divorced or by entering into "fake" marriages.

Detailed housing price regulations aimed at cooling the property market were rolled out last week in many cities following a central government regulatory plan issued last month.

According to a new rule introduced by the Beijing government last Friday, single adults with permanent Beijing residence registration are banned from buying second homes, leading some to speculate that people may enter into "false" marriages to skirt the regulation.

This is not the first time that the links between marital status and housing controls have come under fire in China.

In early March, the State Council said that a 20-percent individual income tax would be levied on capital gains by home sellers whose families own more than one apartment.

Days after the new regulation was put into force, couples across the country flocked to register for divorce to avoid the tax.

A restriction of the number of family residences in big cities has also led to divorce for some.

Zhang Zhongliang, 39, decided to divorce his wife -- not to end their 18-year relation, but to allow for the purchase of the family's third apartment.

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