28 October 2016
How much would you pay for this tiny, shabby passageway in Beijing? Photos: Baidu, Weibo
How much would you pay for this tiny, shabby passageway in Beijing? Photos: Baidu, Weibo

1.5 mln yuan price tag for shabby ‘hutong’ in Beijing

A tiny, shabby passageway within a Beijing alley, commonly referred to as hutong, has been put on sale for a whopping 1.5 million yuan (US$228,000).

The price tag may raise a lot of eyebrows, but estate agents said Daer Hutong is worth the price because it is located in a district where there are many famous schools, the Beijing Morning Post reports.

The buyer is unlikely to be able to live in the passageway, but they can use it as a residential address in order to be eligible to get their child in one of the prestigious schools in the district.

According to estate agents, more and more parents are investing in bizarre assets such as this, which is a reflection of the increasing number of “monster parents” who would do everything to give their children a “head start” on their academic advancement.

At Daer Hutong, estate agents made every effort to convince reporters posing as prospective buyers that the passageway is considered a residential unit.

They showed reporters copies of the hutong’s ownership certificates, which indicate that the passageway is a residential unit.

However, when reporters enquired on the legality of the passageway as an independent residential address with the housing management authority, the answer was far from definite.

The authorities said any property comprising a house and a passageway can be regarded as a residential unit, but if the house and passageway are sold separately, the passageway might not qualify as a residential unit as its land use has been changed.

As such, a hutong buyer might not be able to register it as a residential address for the purpose of applying for a school place for their children.

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