China to expand property taxes
Updated: 2013-02-20 20:06
By Hu Yuanyuan (chinadaily.com.cn)
China will expand the scope of property taxes on a trial basis while maintaining a strict implementation of all existing real estate policies, the central government said on Feb 20.
To keep runaway property prices in check, the Chinese government has taken an array of measures over the past three years, ranging from raising the minimum down payment and adopting higher interest rates for second-home mortgages to putting a conditional ban on the purchase of properties by non-residents.
Property taxes were also launched in Shanghai and Chongqing on a trial basis.
"As China is in a rapid urbanization process, the shortage of housing supply in some key cities could hardly be eased in the short term. Therefore, we will stick to the policy of restraining speculative home purchases while supporting demand for personal use," said Premier Wen Jiabao when presiding over a cabinet meeting.
For cities that see a rapid increase in property prices, the government should release policies to restrict the number of homes a family could purchase. For those with restrictions already in place, the government should further improve the system, according to the meeting.
Meanwhile, the government will further increase the land supply and the construction of government-subsidized housing to boost the supply of homes.
The land supply for residential projects in 2013, it said, will be no less than the average in the past five years. More supplies will be given to medium and small apartments.
A total of 4.7 million of government-subsidized apartments will be completed this year while 6.3 million apartments will be constructed.