Fri, 22 Sep 2023

HONG KONG: To cope with the weakening property market, developers in China are coming up with innovative ways to attract buyers, even offering to accept wheat as down payments.

A Henan-based Central China Real Estate advertisement that had "swap wheat for house" in the title, says buyers can use the crop, priced at 2 yuan per 604 grams, to offset as much as $23,900.22 of down payments for its houses.

The promotion, aimed mainly at farmers, started this week and will end on July 10. The development in the central province of Henan offers homes starting at $90,000.

Late last month, another Central China advertisement said buyers of houses in another development could make down payments in garlic.

More common promotions by developers include free parking areas or renovations after purchase.

Property developers are struggling to boost sales following China's strict COVID-19 lockdowns, combined with concerns about a deeper property correction clouding Beijing's 2022 economic growth target of 5.5 percent.

"Some developments are selling quite well. Those are the ones offering price cuts or promotions," said Andy Lee, chief executive officer at realtor Centaline China, as quoted by Reuters.

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