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September 25, 2017

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New home sale curbs roll out

A number of provincial capitals across China have rolled out new curbs to further slow home property sales and bear down on lingering speculators that could destabilize markets.

Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei Province, has banned investors from selling newly bought homes for up to five years, while Changsha, capital of Hunan Province, has barred homeowners from buying a second property for up to three years from the time of their first home purchase, according to Xinhua news agency.

Changsha has also limited property sales to non-local residents to one unit per person.

Home prices have surged since late 2015, with the country’s biggest cities, including Shenzhen and Shanghai, the first to see huge spikes in their markets. Provincial capitals started to join in the fray last summer as speculators flooded into second-tier cities.

The government, concerned about potential instability posed by frothy property markets and soaring credit growth, has increasingly clamped down on speculators since late last year, unleashing a series of restrictions to douse the country’s super-hot home property markets.

Average new home price in China’s 70 major cities rose 0.2 percent in August from July, the slowest pace in seven months, according to the latest official data.

Home prices in China’s four first-tier cities — Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou — either fell from a month earlier or were unchanged.

Authorities in Chongqing, along with those in Nanchang in Jiangxi Province, have banned transactions of new and secondhand homes for two years after purchase, according to documents published on the city governments’ official websites.

The various measures took effect last week.

Additionally, Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi Province, has told developers from today to report home prices to local price-monitoring departments before sale, and reiterated its pledge to crack down on property price manipulation and speculation.

China’s property market has become a major source of financial risk. A central bank official earlier this month said authorities needed to maintain strict controls over property markets in first and second-tier cities where prices gains have been the strongest.


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