Several Chinese property developers have said they will accept food as a home payment in recent months as they try to attract buyers. Companies advertise deals to let people use products, including peaches, watermelon and garlic, as a down payment in new homes.
However, some of these unusual offers have now reportedly been pulled. Home sales in China fell for 11 months, even as a significant developer defaulted on its debt this week.
Last week, a property company in the eastern city of Wuxi said it would allow Peach to offset up to 188,888 Chinese yuan ($28,218; £23,289) in the home down payments.
Another developer from nearby Nanjing said it would accept 5,000 kg of watermelon from farmers. This put the value of production at 100,000 Chinese yuan – several times its price in local markets.
However, the official Global Times newspaper reported that the campaign had been suspended until next Friday.
“We were told to delete all promotional posters on the social media platforms,” the paper quoted a company representative saying, without giving further details.
In May, property firm Central China Management ran a 16-day campaign in which it accepted garlic as down payments for homes in China’s Qi county, a central garlic-producing region.
Under the deal, a can of garlic, equivalent to about 600 grams, was priced at five Chinese yuan, almost three times its market value. The company said it had accepted 860,000 cloves in deals involving 30 households.
However, it has since removed an advertisement for a similar deal involving wheat launched on WeChat last month.
Experts have said the deals are a way for developers to get around local authority regulations that limit the size of exemptions they are allowed to offer. Official figures for May show that sales of residential properties in China are down 41.7% from a year ago, the 11th straight month of decline.
On Sunday, primary Chinese developer Shimao Group said it had missed interest and principal payments on $1bn (£825m) of offshore bonds due the same day.