Date
12 December 2017
Local governments in China are easing their property rules without making too much noise. Photo: Bloomberg
Local governments in China are easing their property rules without making too much noise. Photo: Bloomberg

China cities ease home curbs — discreetly

Inner Mongolia’s capital Hohhot has become the latest city in China to ease the property rules. Like most other administrations who took similar steps, Hohhot did it discreetly.

Rather than formally scrapping home purchase restrictions, Hohhot simply won’t bother to ask or check ownership records of home buyers any more. Under the existing rule, local families can only buy two homes and non locals one.

The central government imposed curbs previously when home prices where shooting through the roof. But situation has changed quickly and now an increasing number of cities find themselves in supply glut as demand has cooled.

Having to follow the orders from the top while at the same time realizing the need to protect the local economy and government finances — which depend significantly on the property sector — local cadres, as always, are innovating in walking a fine line.

Other cities have come up with ideas like the offering of local residency permit, tax benefit and easier access to housing provident fund to lure buyers and lift the property market.

Up to 30 cities are expected to tweak their home policies in different ways this year, according to China Business News. That said, lower-tier cities like Hothot, which do not have big population and do not generate many new job opportunities, may find it tough to engineer a quick property recovery.

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RC

EJ Insight writer

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