Several Chinese cities pushing group buying of homes
Several cities across China have encouraged enterprises to opt for group buying of homes, providing discounts and preferential policies since June to boost the housing market.
These cities include Taiyuan in Shanxi Province, Guangdong's Zhongshan, Liaoning's Shenyang, Zhejiang's Tonglu, Anhui's Tongling, Yunnan's Pu'er, Sichuan's Bazhong, Hubei's Huanggang and Jilin's Changchun.
Take Huanggang for example. The city asked developers to give a discount of at least 3 percent of the payment to any buying group which has more than 20 buyers.
However, some Chinese cities have actually banned home group buying. On July 11, Sanmenxia City in Henan Province issued a notification prohibiting enterprises from organizing group buying of houses. Earlier, Henan's Zhengzhou City issued a similar regulation in March.
Yan Yuejin, director of Shanghai-based E-house China Research and Development Institute, believes the government's encouragement of home group buying can help revive the housing market.
But since people's preferences are different, there might be some difficulties in group buying, said Chen Xiao, senior analyst of a data research center under property information website zhuge.com.
Authorities should be alert and cautious about the likelihood of some agencies cheating home buyers in group buying or selling substandard houses, he added.
A researcher with one of Shanghai's major brokerage chains told Shanghai Daily that these cities are now trying to use administrative ways to bolster the housing market because the market way doesn't seem to work sometimes.
But he said that it would be better for the government to let the market solve such problems by itself.