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Shanghai residents queue to divorce amid worries about stricter real estate regulations

(People's Daily Online)    16:10, August 30, 2016
Shanghai residents queue to divorce amid worries about stricter real estate regulations
Citizens wait at the divorce registration office in Minxing district, Shanghai.

With rumors swirling about new regulatory measures regarding home sales, some Shanghai residents have taken it upon themselves to preemptively seek divorces in order to avoid the impact of the possible new rules.

On Aug. 29, a reporter at a small divorce registration office in Shanghai's Xuhui district witnessed a room filled with couples waiting to submit their divorce registration. Unable to handle the sudden uptick in applicants, the office was forced to put up a notice requesting that any additional divorce-seeking couples return at a later date. A clerk at the office said that applicants had dramatically increased beginning on Aug. 29.

"Over 70 couples came today to get divorced, which is beyond the office’s processing capacity," the clerk explained.

At present, a single resident without a home registered under his or her name can buy a new home with a 30 percent downpayment in Shanghai. However, according to the rumors, tighter rules will be implemented starting in September, which will increase the required downpayment to 50 percent. The way many couples see it, if one spouse transfers his or her house deed to the other spouse, and the couple then gets a divorce, then the first spouse will still be able to buy a new home with a 30 percent downpayment.

According to the Shanghai Real Estate Trading Center, sales of new homes on Aug. 29 exceeded 1,066 units, marking the third day since the rumors began that sales exceeded 1,000 units.

Industry insiders said the surge in sales has a lot to do with the rumors about tightening regulatory measures. However, the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development has denied the rumor, refusing to discuss or speculate on the unconfirmed regulations. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor: Hongyu,Bianji)

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