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Age of home buyers in urban China is falling

Age of home buyers in urban China is falling

Homebuyers are getting younger and the percentage of female home buyers is rising in major Chinese cities, according to a report released last week.

The report by online housing agency Ke.com focused on house buying and renting in 15 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Xiamen, Chengdu and Zhengzhou, in the first half of this year.

The average age of homebuyers in Beijing was 34.1 years old in the first half of this year, dropping from 34.5 last year but is still the oldest average in the report.

Changsha homebuyers, at 28.9, were the youngest, while the average age of Chongqing buyers declined by two years to 31.5 from the same period last year – the most significant drop in the report.

While the majority of homebuyers are male, the percentage of female homebuyers is on the rise, said the report.

It also found that women in nine cities including Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Changsha are buying homes at a younger age than men. The gap was largest in Changsha at 1.4 years.

Xiamen, a new first-tier city, reported an average house price of 33,476 yuan ($4,869) per square metre, just behind Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen and ahead of Guangzhou.

A Ke.com analyst said that as a special economic zone and popular tourist city, Xiamen has attracted a large number of investors and tourists.

Its well-developed light industries draw many migrant workers, and it also provides better educational, medical and transportation services than neighbouring cities.

This makes the city’s real estate appealing to high-net-worth individuals from across the province.

House renting volumes in traditional first-tier cities remained much higher than in new first-tier cities in the first half of this year, according to the report, although the figures have decreased significantly in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.

New first-tier cities recorded dramatic increases in house renting volumes, especially Xi’an, Changsha and Wuhan.

In June, the four cities saw increases of over 50 per cent compared to the transaction volume in the first half of last year.

While favourable policies are attracting graduates to new first-tier cities, high rents are making them leave.

Based on Ke.com survey data, nearly 87 per cent of respondents said they would accept a rent-to-income ratio of no more than 30 per cent.

Shenzhen has the highest house renting ratio to income, followed by Beijing and Shanghai, which puts a considerable burden on tenants, according to the report. CHINA DAILY

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