Real estate registry program remains 'work in progress'
Updated: 2015-02-28 09:11
By Zheng Yangpeng(China Daily)
People complete the formalities of real estate transactions at a registration center in Handan, Hebei province, in April 2014. The Provisional Regulation on Real Estate Registration will take effect on March 1, 2015 and make it clear that the goal is to end a patchwork system overseen by various agencies and standardize the registration procedure.[Hao Qunying/China Daily]
As regulation takes effect, worries recede over related property taxes and corruption probes
On Sunday, the Provisional Regulation on Real Estate Registration will take effect, and there is renewed speculation that a property sell-off looms as corrupt officials scramble to unload property acquired with illicit gains.
However, a closer look at the regulation itself and interviews with experts suggest that much of the talk is just hype.
The regulation, containing 35 articles, makes it clear that the goal is to end a patchwork system overseen by various agencies and standardize the registration procedure. The Ministry of Land and Resources has the mandate to guide and supervise real estate registration nationwide.
Every government jurisdiction at or above the county level has been directed to establish a special agency to be responsible for registration.
A conference held by the ministry in mid-February said that most provincial governments have already established a single agency for registration, while consolidation work at the sub-provincial and county level is advancing. To facilitate the implementation of the regulation, a detailed version of the implementation rule will be announced soon.
All this suggests that for now, institution-building is the priority of policymakers, while levying tax or exposing illegal property holdings - which is what many feared - is not what the authorities have in mind.
A report by Industrial Securities Co Ltd said that the full implementation of the regulation is a project with a long timeframe and the chances are "slim" that it can be finished within two years.