January 3, 2019 / 10:28 AM / 3 months ago

Chinese city ends lucky draw for home buyers as market stabilises

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese wanting to own a home in a Qingdao city district will no longer have to enter a lucky draw in order to buy as authorities have suspended the lottery system introduced in June to curb speculation since the market has stabilised.

The policy change, announced on Thursday by Gaoxin district’s notary public office on its official social media account, took effect on Jan. 1.

With the economy losing steam and property sales contracting, a handful of cities have recently relaxed property purchase requirements.

New home prices in Qingdao, in the eastern province of Shandong, grew 1.6 percent in November from a month earlier, latest official data showed, compared with a 0.6 percent increase in October.

A lottery system was also imposed in top-tier cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, along with a few provincial capitals.

In the southwestern city of Chengdu in Sichuan province, the lottery system for one real estate project was scrapped as no buyers registered to purchase any of its 645 apartments, according to local newspaper The Paper on Thursday.

In another sign that policy was being eased, the State Council, or cabinet, said on Wednesday that the government was encouraging both residential renting and buying in the Xiongan New Area, China’s new special economic zone. Previously, the city had frozen property sales to stamp out speculation.

Reporting by Stella Qiu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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