Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Till property sale do they part

Skyrocketing property prices have spurred many divorced Chinese couples to continue living under the same roof while they await the best time to sell their homes.

Based on cases in a Beijing court, the Beijing Morning Post suggested on Monday that about 10 per cent of divorced couples in China who were born after 1980 preferred to maintain their financial ties and shared property.

The living-together arrangement means they need not pay for separate apartments before they sell their property for a higher price, remarked the Global Times.

However, under such an arrangement, added the newspaper, a potentially hurtful situation may arise for one party if the other often engages in sexual romps at their home with a third party.

‘The apartment is our only shared property. As house prices keep rising, we have decided not to sell the house for the time being,’ the Beijing Morning Post quoted Ms Lin, a recent divorcee, as saying.

She and her former husband continue to live together in a two-bedroom apartment in Beijing’s Haidian district, which they bought for more than 1.2 million yuan (S$245,000). It is now worth three million yuan. They expect they can sell the house at a higher price in the future.

Their expectations are not groundless. Property prices in big cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen keep rising even though the central government has put forward a series of measures to curb the upward trend, Shanghai Evening Post reported on Monday.

The average price of a second- hand apartment reached 20,100 yuan per sq m last month, representing a monthly increase of over 4 per cent, China News Service reported on Monday.

While in pursuit of the best profit, Ms Lin has to bear with frequent hurts. She wants to remarry her former husband, but he is already looking for a new relationship, sometimes bringing girls back home at night. Ms Lin could not help breaking down in tears while describing how she felt.

Lawyer Li Hongjiang said living together after divorce is always a hard decision. ‘These couples are advised to sign a property-sharing agreement,’ he said.

Mr Wang Zhiguo, a matchmaking expert from a Beijing- based website, told the Global Times: ‘Those who decide to live together after divorce should lay down rules for living together in anticipation of negative effects.’

Source: Straits Times, 14 Apr 2010

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