China to resume harsher property sales tax to curb speculation

15:57, December 23, 2009      

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The Chinese government will resume a harsher property sales tax to curb speculation in the housing market from Jan. 1, the Ministry of Finance announced Wednesday.

Prompted by fears of a bubble in the housing market, the government is to extend the taxable period on home sales to five years from date of purchase.

The government cut the period of the tax levy from five to two years in January to buoy home sales.

The State Council announced last week the government was discussing measures and policies to curb speculation and ensure the healthy development of the real estate sector, as house prices in some cities were rising too fast.

It came after the State Council announced that the government would reimpose the 5.5 percent tax on sales of homes bought less than five years previously to discourage speculation.

Home prices in 70 large and medium-sized Chinese cities rose 0.2 percent in June, returning to a year-on-year growth rate after starting to fall in December last year, backed by government stimulus measures and bank credit.

In November, home prices in those cities rose 5.7 percent from a year earlier, accelerating from October's 3.9-percent rise, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

Source: Xinhua
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