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China Daily Website

Property prices rise in March

Updated: 2013-04-19 01:48
By Hu Yuanyuan ( China Daily)

The central government said on March 1 that it plans to introduce a 20 percent capital gains tax and higher down payments and mortgage rates for second-home buyers in cities where prices are deemed to be rising too fast.

Major cities have unveiled detailed regulations following the introduction of the State Council's measures to cool the real estate market. In general, among detailed regulations released by local governments, with the exception of Beijing, the measures lack severity, clarity and enforceability.

"This also means that local governments are still leaving room for decision-making and flexibility in this round of property curbs while the central government has no intention of depressing all property markets with the use of 'one-size-fits-all' measures," said Frank Chen, executive director of CBRE Research.

Home price growth is expected to gradually slow and transacted volume is expected to fall as well, according to Chen.

"Rising transaction costs may change buyers' perspectives, and force them to switch to a wait-and-see strategy in the near future," said Chen.

"But taking into account the slowdown in the land market in 2011 and the first half of 2012, new housing supply in the short term is expected to remain limited while the risk of price declines due to oversupply is very small."

Meanwhile, if house prices in some cities continue to rise rapidly in the next period, further tightening policies should be expected from local governments, he added.

Beijing has released the strictest measures due to the surge in home prices since 2012, which include limiting single adults with a registered permanent residence to the purchase of only one apartment, as opposed to two previously, and the government will also not grant sales licenses to projects priced "much higher" than the average rate in the region.

"Beijing's measures can also be used as a framework for policy upgrading among other cities in the event of prices further increasing," said Chen.

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