Will Nationwide Registration of Immovable Property Rights Weaken Chinese Housing Prices?


State media says that a unified system for the registration of immovable property throughout China has just entered the stage of “comprehensive implementation,” as well as sought to assuage concerns about impacts on housing prices.

The latest data from China’s Ministry of Natural Resources (MNL) (自然资源部) indicates that the authority has established a total of 3001 immovable property registration offices in 335 cities and 2853 counties throughout China.

More than 80,000 frontline registration staff are responsible for the provision of immovable property registration services to over 300,000 enterprises or members of the public each day.

CCTV reports that many observers have expressed concern that immovable property registration will trigger a rapid decline in housing prices.

According to CCTV that the new unified registration system brings together the registrations scattered across disparate offices into a single, integrated platform, and will not have a pronounced impact upon housing prices.

The system will provide citizens with “complete transparency” when it comes to home ownership, with experts hoping that it will put a check on official corruption.

“Experts say that while the original intention of unified immovable property registration isn’t to combat corruption, judicial authorities and disciplinary bodies will certainly be able to rapidly determine ownership of immovable property under the names of individuals,” said CCTV.

“This will play the role of deterring corrupt officials.”

According to the “Immovable Property Registration Provisional Regulations” (不动产登记暂行条例) the scope of registration encompasses ownership of collective land, ownership of buildings and structures, ownership of forests and woods, contractual rights to farmland, grassland and woodlands; usage rights to construction land, usage rights to land for housing foundations, usage rights to aquatic territory and predial servitude.

In order to address complaints that registration of immovable property in China has been difficult and time-consuming or required “extraordinary” forms of documentation, MNL has just launched a “specialist rectification campaign” to increase the convenience of procedures over the next three months.

MNL said that its offices would establish simplified and standardised registration procedures, and provide clear guidance to the public on handling of procedures.