Purchase a Property in China

Purchase a Property in China

Updated on Tuesday 19th April 2016

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Foreigners who want to purchase a property in China are no longer required to stay for at least one year in the country for work or study reasons, prior to being able to buy a house. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has announced in August 2015 that foreigners can purchase as many properties as they require; at the same time, the rule relating to the minimum living time in China has also been abolished.
According to the Chinese Property Law, foreigners cannot buy land in China, as the land belongs to the state. Even if some limitations exist, foreigners who work in China or want to relocate here can purchase a property according to their needs and budget. 
Our lawyers in China can help foreigners throughout all the stages of the property purchase process, from the initial search to the drafting of the purchase agreements and the conclusion of the final purchase contract.

Requirements for foreigners who want to buy properties in China

Although the general requirements have changed, rules may be different in various Chinese regions, like Shanghai, where it is possible to have additional requirements; in this sense, the foreign persons who want to purchase a property in Shanghai have to prove that they are married. The legislation applicable in Shanghai also states that a foreigner without a household registration is allowed to purchase only one property.
The number of houses that can be purchased by a foreigner in China is no longer regulated to a maximum of one. A mandatory rule is that foreigners use the acquired property only for residential purposes and not for renting purposes or others.
An important aspect is that the new legislation is available for Chinese mainland
Foreign companies and foreign citizens who want to use a property for other needs than their own must firstly open a company in China. Foreign corporations that want to open branches or subsidiaries in China must provide relevant documentation that attests their legal status and must submit a written guarantee that the purchased property will only be used for the needs of the company.
Still, foreign investors with activities in China are now allowed to purchase a property designated as a housing unit

The property purchase procedure in China

A person seeking to buy a property in China can search for an apartment with the help of a real estate agent or on their own; it is advisable to receive the legal assistance of a Chinese lawyer, who is familiar with the local procedure. 
A preliminary purchase agreement is concluded with the seller and if the terms and conditions are agreed upon, the buyer must make a deposit, which is usually established at 1% of the value of the purchase. The final sale contract needs to be signed by both parties and notarized; our team of Chinese lawyers can provide you with further information on the provisions of a purchase contract
Foreigners must also obtain a purchase approval from the local Foreign Office, a step which is absolutely necessary so that the government will recognize the purchase in all its rights. The transfer of ownership is performed under the surveillance of the Deed and Title Transferring Office, which will then issue an ownership certificate, testifying the new owner of the property
An important aspect for persons interested in purchasing a property in China is that foreign banks can offer various types of loans to foreigners. 
Our law firm in China can offer you complete real estate due diligence services so that you can make sure that the property bought is sold in good faith.
Our team of Chinese attorneys can help you submit all the necessary documentation and conclude the purchase agreement.



  • May 2016-03-18

    I am interested in relocating to China and I'd like to buy a property here. I think I want to buy an apartment in Shanghai and later on my plans include opening a small company, but I haven't decided yet of the industry, as I want to find out which industries are the most important in this city.

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