September 27, 2017 / 7:56 AM / a year ago

China's Guilin joins list of smaller cities imposing fresh property curbs

BEIJING, Sept 27 (Reuters) - The southern Chinese city of Guilin unveiled fresh property curbs this week, joining a growing list of smaller cities trying to tame rising home prices.

Home owners in Guilin have been banned from selling any newly-purchased homes for two years if they are the family’s third property or more, the Guilin housing bureau said in a notice issued on Tuesday.

The rule is effective immediately. Guilin is a lower-tier city of 4.8 million in the southern Guangxi Autonomous Region.

The housing and pricing authorities in Guilin will also intensify their crackdown on market irregularities, such as purposely delaying property launches and stoking buyer panic by spreading rumours of low inventories, the notice said.

New home prices in Guilin rose 1.1 percent in August from July, the most among all 70 major Chinese cities surveyed by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Prices climbed 9.6 percent from a year earlier.

Last week, a number of provincial capitals across China rolled out new measures to further curb home prices and discourage speculators ahead of a highly sensitive Communist Party congress next month.

The moves were seen by some analysts as pre-emptive ahead of the week-long National Holiday starting on Sunday, which is usually considered a peak sales window as migrant workers head home to purchase properties.

China’s home prices have surged since late 2015, with the biggest cities including Shenzhen and Shanghai the first to see huge spikes in their markets.

Home prices in smaller cities started to climb last summer as curbs in big cities prompted speculators to look elsewhere. The rally spread to smaller tier-3 and tier-4 cities this year.

The housing rally has been one of the main drivers of China’s stronger-than-expected economic growth so far this year, though successive waves of cooling measures are expected to temper construction activity and investment in coming months.

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

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