China’s cities grant hukou for house purchases like Portugal offering citizenship for house purchases

Last week, central China’s Wuhan City eased its household curbs to allow older college graduates working in the city to settle locally, a move expected to attract 100,000 graduates, hopefully boosting property purchases.

Previously, south China’s Haikou City allowed five family members to register their household locally if one purchases a house with a space of above 120 square meters, while neighboring Nanning City, Guangdong Province and east China’s Wuxi all lowered the threshold for similar house purchases that grant buyers local hukou.

Hukou, or permanent residential permit, ties subsidized social services including health, housing, education or pensions to one’s legal residence and is much coveted in first- and second-tier cities. Many migrant workers without local hukou face complicated home buying requirements such as minimum working time in the city.

Li explained that household preferential policies around the Pearl and Yangtze river deltas may draw more people to migrate from central and west China, further depressing property prices in third- and fourth-tier cities.

An urbanization plan was unveiled in March including hukou reforms to gradually grant 100 million migrant workers permanent urban hukou permits by 2020, which many believe will lead to long-term home-buying demand.

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