BEIJING Dec 13 China should enforce new
property controls next year to curb speculation and prevent an
expected modest recovery in house prices from turning into a
steep rebound, a top state think-tank said on Thursday.
The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences called on the
government to expand property taxes to more cities and stop
developers from getting too much financing by barring them from
selling homes before they are built.
"If the central government does not take effective measures
next year, home prices risk a sharp rebound again in most cities
due to a turn in market sentiment and policy tweaks of local
governments," the think-tank said.
China's property market has shown signs of perking up in
recent months as Beijing lowered interest rates twice this year
to shore up economic growth. Some local governments have also
relaxed property controls to boost home sales.
The think-tank also warned of dangers of steep house price
falls in some cities where property markets are frothy, but it
did not identify those cities.
"The central government should reiterate its unswerving
stance to rein in the property market and unveil targeted
measures in time," it said.
Its recommendations are in line with Beijing's plans to
retain property controls in 2013 to ensure China's house prices
do not revisit record highs seen in previous years and sow
widespread social discontent.
China's crackdown on property speculation, stretching into
its third year, has centred around reducing financing for buyers
and limiting the number of homes people can own.
Property prices soared in China after the 2008/09 financial
crisis when local governments started selling swathes of land to
raise cash for infrastructure investment under Beijing's 4
trillion yuan ($635 billion) stimulus programme.
After a lull this year, property prices appear to have
revived. A private survey showed this month that China's home
prices edged up for a sixth straight month in
(Reporting By Xiaoyi Shao and Koh Gui Qing; Editing by Robert