Hainan Province Targets Fake Marriages for Real Estate Speculation Purposes


The island province of Hainan is adopting strict measures to prevent property speculation in the lead up to its transformation into a free trade pilot zone.

The recent announcement that the whole of Hainan province will be converted into a free trade zone and sports betting hub has left officials concerned that this could trigger a spate of property speculation or precipitate a real estate bubble.

Shortly following the announcement the government of Hainan unveiled some of the strictest real estate market restrictions in the whole of China, including a five year ban on re-selling after purchase, as well as the requirement that any purchasers of housing in Hainan’s there major cities  provide proof that at least one family member has resided in the province for five years or more.

The Hainan government’s determination to prevent a property bubble is evidenced by its attention to detail, with the release of new measures that specifically target “fake marriages” for  real estate investment purposes.

Because the new property purchase restriction requires that only one member of a household be a long-term resident of Hainan province in order to qualify for as a homebuyer, the provincial authorities are concerned that this could lead to the sorts of “fake marriages” which have already been used in other parts of the country to dodge local investment curbs.

On 23 April the Hainan province housing department released the “Notice Concerning the Thorough Implementation of the ‘Notice Concerning Further Stabilisation of the Housing Market'” (关于贯彻落实〈中共海南省委办公厅 海南省人民政府办公厅关于进一步稳定房地产市场的通知〉的通知), which stipulates that “all municipalities and counties will conduct strict inspections of the home purchasing qualifications of [individuals] who engage in repeated divorces and marriages for the purpose of purchasing homes.”

Where fake marriage or fake divorce is used for the fraudulent purchase of residential housing, the Hainan province government says it will report the parties involved to the “National Marriage Registration Credit Information Platform” (全国婚姻登记信用信息平台 ) for the application of joint sanctions.

The new notice further stipulates that collective tertiary student  registration within the province does not count as local residence for home buying purposes, and that university students will only be considered residents who are qualified to buy housing without restrictions should they subsequently obtain employment with local entities.