SHANGHAI, March 15 China's home prices are
expected to fall in 2013 as the government will strictly enforce
the latest property curbs, the housing minister said, according
to the China Securities Journal report on Friday.
China earlier this month announced fresh measures to rein in
home prices. The curbs include stricter implementation of an
existing 20 percent capital gains tax on home sales, tightening
restrictions on home buying and higher down payments for those
buying a second home in cities where prices are rising too
"If there are problems during the process of implementation,
we will make some changes, but it must be strictly enforced,"
Jiang Weixin, Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development,
said on Thursday, the newspapers reported. Weixin said home
prices are likely to fall on these curbs, the paper added.
The planned new measures to curb speculation have battered
property stocks and have sparked a rush in home sales in the
first two weeks of March as investors quickly sold their
properties to lock in gains.
China's new home prices rose an average of 0.8 percent in
January from a year earlier, snapping 10 months of decline,
according to official National Bureau of Statistics data. Prices
rose in 53 of the 70 major cities it surveys.
Official data show strong underlying demand despite a
three-year-long campaign to curb speculation and price rises.
Home sales soared 55 percent in the first two months from a
year ago, outpacing the 37 percent annual rise in the same
period of 2010.
(Reporting by Fayen Wong and Samuel Shen; Editing by Shri