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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

For the Love of Money

Every time I think that the bloated Chinese real estate market must surely be “done” and that a crash is imminent, new societal changes or schemes arise that keep it going a little longer. This month is no exception.

The first new catalyst is a controversial change to Chinese marriage laws, which will indirectly affect real estate.

Under the new marriage laws, the original registered owner of a property will get all the value and appreciation in that property, no matter what. This law was likely enacted to protect men from increasingly greedy Chinese women (known as shèngnǚ) who refuse to date any man who does not provide her with - at a minimum - a luxury car and a condo. However, the result is that if a man with a home marries a faithful woman, and his wife pays half the mortgage and maintains the home for the next 30 years, upon divorce she will get nothing. Needless to say, women in China are not pleased with the new law. In retaliation, it is expected that women will work longer and purchase their own property, or demand that their husband purchase one in their name.

The second catalyst is a scheme related to the Chinese government’s attempts to curb speculation.

In major Chinese cities such as Shanghai and Beijing, a “family unit” is restricted to owning only two properties: one as a residence and another for investment. Banks cannot give loans for properties beyond the allotted two per family unit. To skirt this new rule, happy couples are faking divorce. According to Bloomberg, fake divorce certificates go for about $45 US. After receiving the fake divorce papers, each person is then able to buy two properties.

In an effort to get rich quick - unrestricted by moral boundaries - the citizens of China continue to gorge themselves on real estate candy and other money-making treats, oblivious to the monumental sickness that will surely follow.


Related Video: "No House No Car"


Warm sunshine, shining on your face
Looking at the young guys all around, every one of them looks girly
Having a house and a car is what women long for
Marrying the right person is our biggest wish

I'll ask if you have a car, I'll ask if you have a house
My mother will also ask you how much savings you have
If you have no car, if you have no house
Move aside and don’t block my way

I also have a car, I also have a house
As well as money in the bank
If you guys aren’t even as capable as me
Don’t depend on me, I’m not your mother

You don’t have a car, you don’t have a house
Don’t expect to get a beauty into bed

You are actually poor, you only drive a lousy BMW
Don’t pretend you’re a rich guy who can keep me as his mistress

You don’t have a car, you don’t have a house
Yet you still want to get married and be a groom
If your life isn’t well off
Why should I stand by your side?

You say I am too cold, but I may as well admit
You can call me a gold-digger and I won’t feel hurt
A man after all should be like a man
Without a car, without a house, forget about finding a bride