» Housing » Housing »

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:

  1. You must have been employed (on a Work Visa) for at least one year in the city where you plan to buy the property.
  2. 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

  1. 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);
  2. Your residence permit (both the original document and a photocopy of it);
  3. 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.
  4. 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;
  5. Proof of Employment issued by your employer, or the Legal Representative Certificate of your employer;
  6. 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. 
  7. 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. 
  8. The labor contract you signed with your employer;
  9. 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


Contact: 021-2216-1600

Hours: Mon-Fri, 9 am-5:30 pm


Foreign Affairs Office of Guangzhou Municipal Government, 1 Fuqian Lu, Yuexiu district


Contact: 020-8312-5410

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


Contact: 0755-8210-5982

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


Similar Posts:

11 Responses to Can foreigners get mortgages for property in China?

  • Hi, every friend, I have an apartment for sale in Coastal Rose Garden, Shekou,Shenzhen. 3 bedrooms, 2 living rooms,2 bathrooms. If you are interested to buy an apartment in Shenzhen, that is your dream place. It is closed to “Sea World” and over 50% residents are foreigners. The price is very reasonable and cheaper than the nearby propoerties. Welcome your inquiry on chenhp8@hotmail.com!


  • Hello,
    My partner and i are planning to move to china and live, we wish to buy a house and land. We intend to start a business in china but wish to know can we buy a house to live in as she is Chinese born but has an Australian Citizenship after she moved here with her parents when she was 5 years old, because her parents changed it so she could have schooling here. If i am correct she is Chinese heritage and can buy a house there but would need to place the title in her name ??. Or would she need to change her citizenship again before we can buy there?.


    • Hi Ghost. The general practice is that foreigners with Chinese heritage can enjoy the same policies regarding property purchasing as overseas Chinese – that is, they are automatically eligible to buy a house to live in. 

      However, the rule differs from city to city. It is better to consult a Overseas Chinese Affairs Office or a law firm local to the place you intend to move to, and ask them whether your partner can buy a property under her name. If the local rule says she can, then she can buy one under her name straight away. If not, you must live or work in China for more than one year to be eligible to do the purchase. 

      In both cases, she doesn’t have to change her citizenship to make the purchase, provided she doesn’t already own any residential properties. We recommend speaking to a lawyer who specializes in mainland property law, as there are many nuances in property purchasing that we can’t provide. Good luck!

  • I just called up the agent — he said I need a letter of authentication to verify my passport is legit. Does this makes sense ? This is my 2nd apartment already in China and this is ridiculous . He said this is a new policy change… Sigh

  • Alternatively a foregin party can buy a property but his/her Chinese counterpart can sign for a mortgage loan. Doing so you can skip that passport validity ridiculous requirement. Its definitely not a complete guide here.

    • Hi there. This is absolutely true – though we were focusing on how foreigners could get mortgages for themselves. But yes, someone could get their Chinese partner (or someone else they are close to) to sign for a loan with the bank, which would avoid the passport validity issue. If the Chinese person agrees to renounce her right to the property then the name on the ownership certificate will be entirely the foreigner’s; otherwise the property will be co-owned. 

      • How to get my Chinese partner to renounce ? Written in black and write .. And get it endorse by the authority ? and which authority ?

  • “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.”
    LOL, definitely not! On which planet do you live? Chinese properites are one of the most expensive in the world so a mortgage is the must! But the mortgage is limited to your passport’s validity? I can extend passport right? So why?
    And anyways, even if I just got a fresh passport it only got 10 years on it, so in order to fully paid the whole mortgage in those 10 years period, I’d have to pay around 15K RMB every month! Surely you got some informations wrong as most people here have their monthly rate set at something around 3000-4000 RMB. Come on. Some realism please.

    • Hi Andrew. Thanks for writing in. We have checked again with multiple parties who have confirmed that the mortgage is tied to the validity of the applicant’s passport.

  • Hi there,

    Thanks for the information- thought it was a very useful article!

    I will start a job in Hong Kong at the end of this summer and was planning on buying a house in Guangzhou. I just wondered if it would be possible to get a mortgage from a bank within Guangzhou?
    Thanks in advance :)

    • Hi Nabil. Unfortunately, if you are not a Chinese citizen you can only buy a house on the Chinese mainland if you are actually living on the Chinese mainland, and have been working or studying there for a year. Although it is part of China, Hong Kong is not regarded as being on the Mainland. If you have just moved to Hong Kong for employment, you certainly won’t be able to buy a house in Guangzhou. Sorry! Let us know if you have any other questions. Good luck with your new job!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>