(ECNS) -- Two weeks after Shanghai implemented its most rigid property control measures, more couples have rushed to get quickie divorces to avoid tougher regulations on home purchases, Beijing Youth Daily reported.
Multiple property brokers have told the newspaper that home prices have remained stable in Shanghai as the panic recedes.
The city's prime home prices grew 14 percent in 2015, the third-highest among global cities. According to the new rules released on March 25, local families with one property will now have to pay a minimum 50 percent down payment for a second home, but if the house is either above 140 square meters or priced above 4.5 million yuan ($692,000), the down payment will rise to 70 percent.
But the policy has also boosted divorce and remarriage among those who want to avoid the high tax.
Real estate agents in the city's financial district Lujiazui suggested a woman get divorced to buy her family's third house. According to the scheme, the first two houses would be registered with the husband so the wife has no property under her name after the divorce. She can then purchase a home of her own, which will be registered as her first house, with a lower tax and down payment. After the deal, the woman and her husband could remarry.
The local marriage registration office in Shanghai's Pudong New Area has seen a growing number of couples filing for divorce compared to a half month ago, the report added. Couples are advised to come to the office one hour earlier to get divorce materials ready.
A marriage registration official in Xuhui District said it's hard to know if the divorce is fake but that there certainly are cases of divorce for the purpose of buying houses.
Gu Jinshan, director of Shanghai Housing and Urban-Rural Development Management Committee, warned that while releasing new control measures last month divorce filings spiked in Shanghai last year, though some fake breakups turned real and led to lawsuits.