47 Chinese Cities Impose Housing Sales Restrictions as Property Controls Intensify

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Property market control policies are expected to further intensify around China, with an increasing number of cities implementing sales restrictions on local housing markets.

According to Zhang Dawei, chief analyst with Centaline Property, the number of Chinese cities currently implementing sales restriction policies has risen to a total of 47.

Starting in March this year Beijing took the lead in the launch of housing sales restrictions, that can prohibit buyers from re-selling properties for anywhere up to five years from the date of purchase.

Data from Centaline Property indicates that by May nearly 30 Chinese cities had followed Beijing’s lead with the implementation of similar measures.

A single week in September saw a total of six provincial capitals join the list of Chinese cities imposing property sales restrictions, including Changsha, Chongqing, Guiyang, Nanchang, Nanning and Shijiazhuang.

Property sales restrictions lie at the core of China’s current round of real estate market controls, with the chief goal of curbing speculative investment and stabilising expectations by constricting transaction volumes and liquidity.

Zhang said to Zhongxin Jingwei (中新经纬) that long-term mechanisms for controlling the property market that are currently being implemented include efforts to expand the urban leasing market, joint property rights for housing and sales restrictions.

According to Zhang Dawei these policies will continue to expand and intensify, with both sales and purchase restrictions on track to increase as the Chinese government seeks to ensure that “housing is used for occupation, not speculation.”

At a press conference held on 10 October Ning Jizhe, the head of China’s National Bureau of Statistics, said that the government’s determination to contain speculative investment in the housing market remained unchanged, and that property policies would see the gradual establishment of long-term measures for controlling the market.

Ning said that once housing prices rise too rapidly in any major city – especially first-tier cities or hotspot second-tier cities, municipal governments will introduce tailored measures contain the local market.

 

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