Beijing issues new rules to limit house purchase

19:10, February 16, 2011      

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Beijing Municipal Government Wednesday issued new rules limiting the number of homes each family can buy as the government steps up efforts to cool the property market.

The new rules prohibit new home purchases by Beijing families who own two or more apartments and non-Beijing registered families who own at least one apartment.

Non-Beijing registered families who have no residence permit or documents certifying that members of the family have been paying social security or income tax for five straight years are also banned from buying apartments.

Beijing families who own just one apartment can only buy one more apartment, according to the new rules.

The rules, issued shortly after the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, are the latest in a series of measures to rein in soaring housing prices that have become a major source of public complaints in the country's biggest cities.

In January, the central government raised the minimum down-payment for second home purchases from 50 percent to 60 percent of the property's value and approved the launch of property taxes in Shanghai and Chongqing.

Beijing's new rules say banks can further raise the down-payment requirements for second apartment buyers and raise interest rates on mortagages in accordance with property market circumstances.

The central bank has increased interest rates three times since October, and hiked the banks' reserve requirement ratio seven times since the start of last year.

The new rules also allow the municipal government allocate more land for government-subsidized affordable housing and small commercial apartments. Affordable homes will account for half the total land designated for new apartments in the city.

The government will provide at least 100,000 affordable apartments and give housing subsidies to 20,000 low-income families this year. Low and medium-income families can start applying for about 10,000 low-rent apartments at the end of the year.

Source: Xinhua
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