China Accelerates Establishment of Immovable Property Registration Network

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The Chinese central government has called for provincial authorities to accelerate the establishment of an immovable property registration system, as part of preparations for the launch of a new real estate tax

The State Council recently called for a range of local governments to fully implement an “internet + immovable property registration”  (互联网+不动产登记) system before the end of June 2019, including directly administered municipalities, sub-provincial municipalities and provisional capitals.

The announcement was accompanied by the launch of a slew of measures by China’s local governments to improve property registration procedures, including the release of the “Guidance Opinions on ‘Running Once at Most’ Reforms to Advance Immovable Property Registration” (关于推进不动产登记“最多跑一次”改革的指导意见) by Hebei province and the “Special Action Plan for Optimisation of Immovable Property Registration” (优化不动产登记专项行动方案) by Shandong province.

Analysts say the move will lay the foundation for the levying of a nationwide real estate tax by the Chinese government.

“Although we cannot say that the establishment of an immovable property unified registration system is for the express purpose of levying a real estate tax…the huge amount of immovable property information will objectively become a foundational construction for the levying of a real estate tax,” said Zhang Yiqun (张依群), head of the Jilin Province Financial Sciences Research Institute (吉林省财政科学研究所) to Securities Daily.

According to Zhang the establishment of a unified immovable property registration system and nationwide data network system means that a new real estate tax is fast approaching.

Zhang also said that the system will help to resolve property-related disputes by providing comprehensive, standardised and public evidence of ownership rights in China.

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