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China's property market chilled by fear of buying new homes

Economy takes hit as pre-owned housing draws demand instead

Buyers of units at this Beijing condominium project went on a "mortgage strike" in response to delays in construction. (Photo by Iori Kawate)

BEIJING -- In a Chinese real estate market where selling not-yet-built homes has been the norm, a plague of unfinished construction projects has turned off buyers and harmed the wider economy.

"I'd be too scared to buy pre-sale property if I'm going to buy another home," said Ma Lin, who lives in the inland city of Zhengzhou.

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