GET a house and gain a wife.
That's the bizarre sales pitch of a Beijing- based property developer struggling to combat a severe market slump in China that has seen home sales and prices plunge.
According to a report posted on media and advertising website Danwei, property developer Jin Tai Cheng is luring potential buyers at its upmarket Ecological Bay villa project with an invitation to date its salesgirls.
Their photographs and vital statistics are put up on the company website.
The marketing pitch goes: 'Planning to buy a house? Can we tempt you with the offer of a young bride - and a dowry as well?'
The company encourages future homeowners to date its salesgirls and promises a wedding present of 60,000 yuan ($13,100) to any couple that ends up getting married.
The website said the company offers the salesgirls 8 per cent in sales commissions.
At the same time, the salesgirls stand a chance to secure a wealthy husband.
But should the couple divorce within a year, the package deal is void.
The desperate sales pitch is the latest manifestation of the grim outlook for China's real estate market.
According to China Daily, housing prices are expected to fall later this year following a drop in sales, citing data from the Blue Book of Real Estate 2009 released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (Cass) last Thursday.
'Last year was the most gloomy period for China's real estate market since housing reform in 1998, in the face of the global economic downturn,' said Mr Li Jingguo, director of the research centre for urban development and environment under the Cass.
Housing sales fell last year
The volume of housing sales fell by 19.7 per cent last year, the report said.
He said many buyers postponed plans to buy a house because of the uncertain economic outlook.
Last November, the Chinese government announced a 4 trillion yuan stimulus package.
Despite this, the real estate market has shown no sign of a recovery so far, notes Mr Ren Zhiqiang, president of the Huayuan group.