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Group buyers get cheap apartments in Bao'an
Latest Updated by 2007-03-28 15:53:02

As housing prices continue to soar in the city, Lin Liren and 80 other Shenzhen residents recently made news by purchasing apartments at a surprisingly low price of 1,545 yuan (US$200) per square meter in Bao'an.

Lin, who led the group on a two-year-long mission to buy apartments, Monday received the keys for 84 apartments in two six-floor buildings purchased late last year.

On behalf of the group, Lin, a local entrepreneur, successfully won the bid for the ownership of the two buildings with 5.92 million yuan in December last year. Lin and his group called the process "cooperative home bidding."

It was the first successful case of its kind in the city. The rate paid by Lin's group was less than half the going price per square meter of similar apartments in the area.

The two 15-year-old buildings were put up for auction to pay off the debts of their former owner. Each apartment is about 46.15 square meters in size, with a toilet and a kitchen.

Yuan Chongjian, 37, one of the homebuyers, took half a day off Monday to visit his new home. With a family income of about 6,000 yuan a month, Yuan cannot afford most homes in the city. He had hoped property prices would drop some day, but the prices keeps going up.

"I feel very happy. I finally have a home in Shenzhen," said Yuan, who came to Shenzhen from Hunan Province nine years ago. Yuan's feelings were echoed by Wang Menglan, who came to Shenzhen 11 years ago and finally bought a home.

But the process of "cooperative home bidding" was a long one involving a lot of waiting and worrying for the buyers.

Before the auction, each buyer was asked to deposit 13,000 yuan in Lin's bank account, which Jiang Lijun, a member of the group, regarded as a risk.

In an earlier interview with the Guangzhou Daily, Jiang said she hesitated when Lin asked her to deposit money into his personal bank account. What if Lin was a cheat? "I decided to take the risk, because I heard that Lin has his own company. He would not take my small money," Jiang said.

Lin also said he understood the fears of the homebuyers. "I had hoped the money could be put into an account of the housing authority, but was refused. They said you cannot have all 81 people involved in a bidding," said Lin.

Lin started to get people together to set up the "cooperative home bidding" scheme in late 2004. Earlier he had tried to buy an incomplete skyscraper in Luohu, but failed because the price was too high.

Encouraged by the recent purchase, more than 3,900 people have applied to join the scheme. Lin's next target is an unfinished building in Buji. The rate will be less than 900 yuan a square meter. "Application is already full," he said.

Editor: Donald

By: Source:Szdaily web edition
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