Mon, Feb 21, 2011 - Page 11 News List

China to limit home purchases

STILL GOING UP:Figures released last week showed that new home prices last month rose from a year earlier in all except two of the 70 cities monitored


Apartments and commercial buildings are shown in Beijing, China, on Thursday.

Photo: Bloomberg

Chinese cities, including Shanghai and Guangzhou, will restrict home purchases after new property curbs by the government aimed at preventing a housing bubble.

The two cities will ban local residents who own two or more homes from buying more property and non-local homeowners from making additional purchases, according to Xinhua news agency and the Guangzhou Daily on Saturday. Other cities with similar plans include Nanjing and Harbin, Xinhua reported.

China extended property curbs last month, including raising the minimum down payment for -second-home purchases, telling local governments to set price targets on new properties and introducing taxes for residential homes in Shanghai and Chongqing. The central bank raised interest rates on Feb. 8 for the third time in four months.

China’s new home prices last month rose from a year earlier in all but two of the 70 cities monitored by the government, defying the new property curbs, the statistics bureau said on Friday.

The measures by Shanghai and Guangzhou follow similar rules in Beijing, where the municipal government added a requirement for non-residents to provide five years of tax documentation to buy apartments in the capital city.

Families not locally registered with the Shanghai authorities can’t buy property without showing they paid tax for at least a year, according to the Xinhua report on Saturday.

New home prices in Beijing advanced 6.8 percent last month from last year, while Shanghai climbed 1.5 percent, the statistics bureau said.

Haikou had the biggest gain, surging 21.6 percent, and 10 cities had increases exceeding 10 percent.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) pledged to curb property speculation and add more affordable housing in his Feb. 1 Lunar New Year speech.

The country needs to “resolutely control the property market” and keep prices stable, he said.

China Vanke Co (萬科集團) and Poly Real Estate Group Co (保利地產) are the nation’s largest property developers.

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