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Shanghai's school-related property sales restricted

2015-03-10 09:12 Shanghai Daily Web Editor: Qian Ruisha

Education authorities in Hongkou District announced a new policy over the weekend restricting admission to government-funded primary school to one child per apartment for five years.

Following on the footsteps of Jing'an District, Hongkou, in the northeast of Shanghai, is the second district in the city to adopt the policy which aims to stop people from buying apartments in areas with reputed schools. It had led to rapid increase for enrollment in prime schools while prices of property in the area surged.

But to keep the housing prices stable, the newly announced policy will not affect families with second child.

In Shanghai, preschoolers are required to go to public primary schools near their residential addresses on their hukou, or permanent residence permits.

Before the policy, many families bought apartments near top schools to ensure their children got admission. They later sold the property to new families with school-eligible children. The high-turnover in property sent the so-called "xue qu fang," or "apartments near schools" prices skyrocketing, especially in downtown areas like Jing'an.

The district acted to stem the demand, restricting one quota to each apartment for every primary school in the district every five years.

The policy's influence on property price is yet to be felt, a real estate agent said.

"People will find fewer qualified apartments available for them as some will already have had their children enrolled in schools. But on the other hand, the qualified ones will be more coveted. So it's hard to say whether the price will drop or rise because of the new policy," said Eric Yan, an agent from a Hongkou branch of the Dooioo real estate agency.

Real estate agents in Jing'an said the price and trading volume of such apartments did not change much, but they expected price increase to slow down.

Cao Yujun, a agent from Centaline Property, said apartments around schools will continue to have a firm market value as long as hukou is related to enrollment.

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