In a new measure to stabilize the housing market, Beijing is planning to introduce homes with joint property rights shared between the government and buyers.
According to a document published by local authorities Thursday to solicit public opinions, individual buyers will be able to buy a share of a house but still have the full "right of use."
Chen Zhi, secretary general of Beijing real estate association, said the new homes were part of the city's long-term housing controls, making the system fairer by allowing more people to buy their own homes.
The policy has several restrictions. Buyers and their families cannot already own homes in their name. Single people making purchases must be at least 30 years old. And a family can only apply for one home.
"The new housing policy clearly targets households that have difficulties in purchasing a home," said Liu Weimin, researcher with the State Council development research center.
Deng Liang, a Beijing-based lawyer, said the new homes could better satisfy housing demand while curbing speculation. The government offers support in areas such as land prices and policy, while holding a share of the property rights, and buyers must pay a share of the price according to their share of the property rights.
Five years after purchase, owners can sell their shares based on the market price, but the government or its assigned management agencies have first-refusal to buy-back.
Zhao Xiuchi, professor with Capital University of Economics and Business, said that although it was more economical to rent considering the current high prices, people still preferred to buy.
The new policy will also help ease traffic in Beijing as people with local Hukou (residence permits) or those that work within a certain district would enjoy priority to buy new homes within their particular district, according to Zhao.
Liu Weimin said the policy was key to Beijing's plan to create a world-class, harmonious and livable metropolis, as it stipulated that at least 30 percent of the homes would be offered to "new Beijingers," referring to people without a Beijing Hukou but with stable jobs in Beijing.
China has recently taken a set of measure to stabilize the housing market and curb speculation.
On July 17, authorities in the southern city of Guangzhou decided to give tenants and homeowners equal rights to local education resources.
In many Chinese cities, the right to attend schools is limited to the children of homeowners rather than tenants. Guangzhou is the first top-tier Chinese city to grant such rights to tenants.
On July 20, a notice was issued by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and other government departments saying that measures would be taken in cities with net population inflows, including increasing rental housing supplies and setting up a government-backed home rental service platform.
Pilot projects will first start in 12 cities, including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Nanjing and Hangzhou.
In the future, cities such as Wuhan, Shenyang and Wuxi will announce plans to grant more rights to tenants.
China's property market has shown signs of cooling as prices have faltered in major cities amid tough government curbs.