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China homebuyers rush online to finance downpayments

Peer-to-peer lenders help buyers struggling to make a deposit after a tripling of home prices since 2000

Published Wed, Nov 5, 2014 · 09:50 PM

Beijing

QIAN Kaishen and his wife almost gave up in August on buying a bigger home. As apartments at Shanghai Villa, a project they liked near the city's Hongqiao Airport, started selling, the money they had saved for the deposit was tied up in a 5 per cent-return investment.

Then property agency E-House China Holdings Ltd offered the couple a 280,000 yuan (S$58,755) one-year bridge loan at zero interest. The loan came from online investors through E-House's Internet finance website. It covered about half the downpayment and was just enough to make up the shortfall.

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