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31 Mar, 2013

Beijing announces new rules to cool property market


BEIJING, 2013-03-30, (Xinhua) – The municipal government of Beijing on Saturday spelled out detailed rules aimed at cooling the property market following the central government’s fresh regulatory plan earlier this month.

Single adults with a permanent Beijing residence registration, who have not made purchases in the city before, are allowed to buy only one apartment, according to the announcement.

Meanwhile, it added, the city will raise down payments for second-home buyers.

Beijing said it will strictly implement the 20-percent tax on capital gains from property sales, but the tax will be exempt if the property is the seller’s only one and they have owned it for five years or more.

Other rules include ensuring land supplies for residential housing, enhancing regulations over property sales, and building a long-term mechanism for the housing market.

The rules came after the central government rolled out a plan on March 1 to tighten control over the property market amid expectations of rising housing prices.

Among the measures, the central government announced a new capital gains tax of 20 percent on secondhand home transactions, a move that has triggered widespread panic among both buyers and sellers. The new tax replaces the previous transaction tax of 1 to 2 percent of the final sale price.

The property market, particularly the secondhand housing sector, has since seen a large number of transactions amid worries that the new tax will push housing prices even higher.