China will soon roll out a pilot reverse mortgage program for seniors in four of its cities, Reuters reports.
Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Wuhan will launch the two-year pilot starting July 1.
Official figures show that in February, China had more than 200 million people over the age of 60, accounting for 15 percent of the total population, Reuters says. Reverse mortgages will be available to qualifying seniors aged 60 and older.
While reverse mortgages are common in developed countries, this would be the first program of its kind in China.
Some experts remain skeptical of the program’s success, saying that traditionally homes are passed down to the next generation as inheritance, and all private home ownership is capped at 70 years.
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Written by Cassandra Dowell