China property

Shanghai halts online office sales after misselling for home use uncovered

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 January, 2017, 8:32pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 January, 2017, 8:32pm

The Shanghai municipal government has temporarily suspended online sales of commercial real estate designated for office use, after illegal modifications to allow for residential usage was uncovered.

Illicit marketing tactics by developers of some such projects have misled buyers and led to complaints, the city’s Urban and Rural Construction and Transportation Commission said in a statement on Saturday.

The ban, in effect since Friday, will enable the municipal government to launch a “clean up and check-up” of existing projects.

“Certain projects have been majorly subdivided, and some were connected with natural gas pipes,” the commission said. “This has brought structural and fire hazards to the buildings.”

Lu Qilin, a commentator on Shanghai’s property market, said the ban will likely affect office projects in areas outside the core downtown office districts, where most of the misselling and misuse is believed to have taken place.

“Such units are designated to be used as offices in the deeds, but were marketed to be useable as apartments,” Lu said.

Some investors were attracted to these projects amid the government’s market-cooling home purchase restrictions, he added.