Can foreigners get mortgages for property in China?
Photo by Flazingo Photos
If you’re buying a house or apartment on the Chinese mainland, the most common way to do so is to pay for the whole thing up front in one go. But if you need to, and should you meet the necessary requirements, it is possible to take out a mortgage from a bank to pay for your new place.
In order to get a mortgage, non-Chinese citizens must meet the following requirements:
- You must have been employed (on a Work Visa) for at least one year in the city where you plan to buy the property.
- You must have a Chinese sponsor whose role is to guarantee that you are earning enough money to pay back the loan. This would typically be your employer.
If you meet these above, you should be able to applyfor a loan from your bank. In order to do so, you will need to submit the following documents there:
Documents you need to apply for mortgage loan in China
- Your passport (you have until the expiration date on your passport to pay back the loan, so you may want to ensure that you have quite some time left on it first);
- Your residence permit (both the original document and a photocopy of it);
- Proof of your financial standing. This would be a financial report, a tax payment record, stock trading record or other proof that you have money, issued by an accounting firm in your own country and verified by the Chinese embassy in your country.
- The original copy of either your marriage certificate or “single certificate” – literally a certificate confirming that you are not married; also a photocopy of the document. If you are already in China then the certificate (or an equivalent document verifying your marital status) should be issued by your embassy; if you are outside China then you will need to get it from the office in your own country that registers marriages, and then have the document notarized by an officially appointed Chinese notarization office in your home country; your Chinese embassy should be able to help you here. If the document is in English you will also need to submit an official translation issued by the Foreign Affairs Office located in the Chinese city in which you are working;
- Proof of Employment issued by your employer, or the Legal Representative Certificate of your employer;
- Proof of your income; this usually takes the form of a spreadsheet printed out by your company’s financial officer. This will prove that you have been in employment for a year and show how much tax you’ve paid.
- Proof of how much tax you have paid; you should receive a monthly or yearly tax statement from your local taxation bureau that confirms this; if you do not receive such a statement then you can go to your local tax bureau and ask them to provide you with one. For a list of the first-tier tax bureaus, see further down this article.
- The labor contract you signed with your employer;
- A photocopy of the business license of the company you are working for.
You must submit the above documents to the bank in person. You should also sign both your English and Chinese names onto the housing sales contract, which will be effective from the moment it is notarized.
Once the Chinese bank has received your application and verified the documents, you will be able to take the mortgage loan at the same interest rates as Chinese citizens. However, the time span of your mortgage loan cannot be longer than the validity of your current passport. Also, banks in China are restricted in that mortgages are usually limited to no more than 70 percent of the total purchase price, so you’ll still have to pay 30 percent when you make the purchase (however, in cities these days this may be extended to an 80 percent mortgage and 20 percent upfront purchase).
The down payment should be transferred from a foreign bank in the currency of US dollars, while the monthly loan will be paid in RMB.
First-tier city Foreign Affairs Offices
Foreign Affairs Office of the People’s Government of Beijing Municipality, 2 Zhengyi Lu, Dongcheng district
Contact: 010-6519-2775, 8418-7676
Hours: Mon-Thurs, 9 am-noon, 2 pm-6 pm; Fri, 9 am-noon, 4:30 pm-6 pm
Foreign Affairs Office of the People’s Government of Shanghai Municipality, 1418 Nanjing Xi Lu, Jing’an District
Hours: Mon-Fri, 9 am-5:30 pm
Foreign Affairs Office of Guangzhou Municipal Government, 1 Fuqian Lu, Yuexiu district
Hours: Mon-Fri, 8:30 am-noon, 2 pm–5:30pm
Foreign Affairs Office of Shenzhen Municipal Government, Floor 2, Zone C, Residence Center, Fuzhong San Lu, Futian district
Hours: Mon-Fri, 9 am-noon, 2 pm-6 pm
First-tier city local taxation bureaus
Beijing Local Taxation Bureau, 8 Chegongzhuang Dajie, Xicheng district
Contact: 010-8837-1655, 010-12366, www.tax861.gov.cn
Hours: 9 am-11:30 am, 1:30 pm-5 pm
Shanghai State and Local Taxation Bureau, 800 Zhaojiabang Lu
Contact: 021-5467-9568 (ext. 12083), www.csj.sh.gov.cn
Hours: Mon-Fri, 9 am-10 am, 2 pm-5 pm
Guangzhou Local Taxation Bureau, 46 Jixiang Lu, Yuexiu district
Contact: 020-12366 (ext. 2), www.gzds.gov.cn
Hours: Mon-Fri, 8:30 am-12 noon, 2 pm-5 pm
Shenzhen Local Taxation Bureau, 28 Futian Nan Lu, Futian district
Contact: 0755-12366 (ext. 2), www.szds.gov.cn
Hours: Mon-Fri, 9 am-12 noon, 2 pm-6 pm
Useful Chinese words and phrases
|按揭贷款||ànjiē dàikuǎn||Mortgage loan|
|首付款||shǒufù kuǎn||Down payment|
|一次性付清||yīcìxìng fùqīng||Pay off in one time|
|外售证||wàishòu zhèng||Certificate allowing sale of housing to foreigners|
|资信证明||zīxìn zhèngmíng||Certificate of Financial Standing|
|结婚证||jiéhūn zhèng||Marriage Certificate|
|单身证明||dānshēn zhèngmíng||Single Certificate|
|就业证明||jiùyè zhèngmíng||Proof of Employment|