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Property tax program trial may be expanded


10:28, November 13, 2012

THE Chinese government is "actively studying" an expansion of its experimental property tax program, Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development Jiang Weixin said yesterday.

Jiang told reporters on the sidelines of the ongoing CPC National Congress in Beijing that there would be no relaxation of current restrictions on home purchases in the short term.

Even though the recent rebound in house transaction volume did not pose a serious problem, the ministry is on high alert if both transaction volume and home prices increase substantially, Jiang said.

Jiang's remarks came as signs of warming emerged in the property market after the central bank cut benchmark interest rates and banks' reserve requirement ratio earlier this year.

Housing sales rose 5.6 percent year on year to 4.63 trillion yuan (US$735 billion) in the first 10 months, accelerating by 2.9 percentage points from the January-September period, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

The government has repeatedly reiterated its firm stance on property market control and vowed to keep in place tightening measures such as a prohibition on third-home purchases, higher down payment requirements and property tax trials.

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