China's property curbs set to stay in place in 2017 - government think tank

Apartment blocks are pictured in Wuqing District of Tianjin, China October 10, 2016. Picture taken October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee

BEIJING (Reuters) - A slew of property curbs introduced this year in China’s biggest cities are likely to be kept throughout 2017, while Beijing looks to develop a long-term mechanism to stem speculation, a government think tank was reported as saying on Monday.

Soaring house prices this year have prompted more than 20 Chinese cities to tighten lending requirements on house purchases. Regulators have told banks to strengthen risk management around property loans.

House price growth would gradually slow in 2017, with “certain time periods” likely seeing actual price declines, the academy said, without giving further details, according to state-owned Economics Information Daily.

But the academy said current restrictive measures were “insufficient” and had limited effects, as they didn’t affect the incentive for speculative buying in the absence of fiscal and tax policies and effective land policies.

Top leaders said earlier in December that curbing property speculation would be the new property policy tone for the year ahead, signalling a shift in policy focus.

President Xi Jinping reiterated last week China’s approach to regulating its red-hot property market will include financial, fiscal, tax, land, and regulatory measures.

Reporting by Yawen Chen and Ryan Woo; Editing by Richard Pullin