Rebecca Zhang, an agent with Beijing Ascot Realty that deals with top-of-the-range properties in the Chinese capital, talks about trends in the property market.
q What is happening to prices now?
a At this moment, prices are going up, but the increase is much slower than before. In Beijing, in the last six months I would say they have increased 7 per cent.
q How much do the most expensive apartments cost?
a Right now it's 30,000 yuan (Dh17,268) per square metre. For a two-bedroom apartment of 100 sq metres, that means 3 million yuan. We've had several clients in the last month, they want a two-bedroom apartment in Beijing for 2m yuan, but we tell them it's impossible at the moment. They think 2m yuan is a lot of money, but it's not here.
q Who is buying luxury apartments?
a One part is the people who work for the government. They purchase the apartment with cash. Another type is business people.
q How are you expecting prices to change in the near future?
a In Beijing, I think the prices will remain stable, but in six months' time I think they will start going up slightly, but not drop down. It's just a slower increase than before. There are still a lot of people who want to come and live and work here, because here you have so many opportunities. A lot of people have the cash and they will invest in Beijing and other cities.
q Is there any chance of a crash in prices?
I don't think so. At the moment, it's different with America or other countries … Right now the individuals have got the ability to pay for the mortgage or they pay cash.
* Daniel Bardsley