Beijing unveils rules to restrict home buying

BEIJING: Beijing has spelled out stricter rules to restrict purchases of multiple homes in China's capital, state television reported on Wednesday, Feb 16, in a bid to rein in soaring property prices.

Under the new rules, only families with residence permits in Beijing — a number far smaller than the city's real population — will be allowed to buy a second home.

Beijing households which already have two or more homes will be banned from buying any further properties, according to the rules, which are in line with central government guidelines issued in late January.

But Beijing's rules are even tougher on individuals without residency permists. They will be barred from buying even a first property in the capital unless they can provide tax and social security certificates proving that they have lived there for more than five years.

Analysts said the new rules could affect at least 10 million non-registered residents in Beijing and further dampen housing demand.

The central government has launched a slew of tightening measures since 2009 in a bid to control the red-hot property market, including mandating higher down-payments and mortgage rates as well as limiting home purchase.

The cities of Shanghai and Chongqing introduced the country's first-ever tax on home ownership in late January, underlining the government's determination to tame property inflation.

Annual property inflation ran at 6.4% in December, down a touch from November's 7.7%, although sequential momentum remained strong, with prices rising 0.3% on a month-on-month basis.

The National Bureau of Statistics is due to issue the January data on Friday. — Reuters

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