The following new policies were announced by the State Council on March 1, 2013:
- Major cities will have to publish an annual housing price control target in the first quarter of every year
- Cities where markets appear to be overheating are to increase land supply and commodity housing, while cities where prices are falling should stimulate demand to keep prices stable.
- Local branches of the People’s Bank of China will increase down payment requirements in cities where prices rise above the government’s price control target.
- Banks should tighten mortgage restrictions on second home purchases, and buyers without a local household registration will be barred, in general, from purchasing more than one property.
- Banks should not to make loans to developers that hoard land and engage in activities aimed at inflating prices.
- Local governments are required to boost the production of low-income housing, and stricter measures were introduced to define what constitutes an affordable housing project.
- The government will continue to reform property taxes, with stricter inclusion of the transaction tax and an extension of the trial holding tax from Shanghai and Chongqing (to other cities), which it pledged to pursue on February 20th.
The current government appears to pursue the same policy goal of containing rises in property prices while at the same time making sure residential real estate investment is not stifled unnecessarily as it is such an important part of GDP.