October 25, 2017 / 5:34 AM / a year ago

China to launch month-long property inspection for price manipulation

BEIJING, Oct 25 (Reuters) - China’s economic planner and housing ministry will launch a month-long joint inspection of property developers and estate agents for any signs of price manipulation and falsified contracts, the housing ministry said on Wednesday.

The inspection, led by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Housing and Rural-Urban Development (MOHRUD), will be carried out at local sales offices of developers and estate agencies from Oct. 30 to Nov. 30, according to a statement on the housing ministry’s website.

Targeted irregularities include failure to mark prices and sales status clearly, price manipulation, contract falsification, and forced bundled sales of other products and services, the statement said.

The NDRC and MOHRUD said in the statement local price-supervision bureaus and housing bureaus must “place utmost importance” over the inspection, urging them to expose and severely punish illegal market behaviours, as the inspection aims to “achieve a lot on a tight schedule”.

Overheating in China’s property market has become a serious concern for policymakers during a near-two-year boom. More than 45 cities have adopted restrictive policies to prevent speculative buying that could further fuel price bubbles.

China’s housing ministry first announced a campaign to crack down on nine types of misconduct by real estate developers last October.

Reporting by Yawen Chen and Ryan Woo; Editing by Kim Coghill

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