June 24, 2008 / 6:25 AM / 11 years ago

FACTBOX: China's property market cooling measures

June 24 - China is worried that a property bubble could destabilize its economy and has announced a series of measures to cool its hot real estate sector.

Following are some of the steps it has taken.

June 7, 2008 - China’s central bank raises the amount that lenders must hold in reserve by a full percentage point, more than market watchers had expected, an indication of official alarm over the huge amount of cash flooding into the economy.

It was China’s fifth increase of the ratio so far this year and the first time since December that the central bank opted for more than a half percentage point rise.

Jan 16, 2008 - China raises the proportion of deposits that banks must hold in reserve for the 11th time since the start of 2007 to keep a flood of liquidity from entering the economy

Jan 7, 2008 - Government says that land acquired from local governments that goes undeveloped for more than a year will be subject to an “idle land charge” of 20 percent of the purchase price

Dec 11, 2007 - The central bank orders banks to scrutinize mortgage borrowers more closely

Sept 28, 2007 - The central bank and China Banking Regulatory Commission say they will ban banks from lending to developers found to be hoarding land. Downpayments for second homes are raised to 40 percent from 30 percent, and requirements for commercial properties increased to 50 percent from 40 percent.

Aug 7, 2007 - China bans foreign investors in Chinese real estate from borrowing offshore

June 11, 2007 - China’s commerce ministry issues new rules making it harder for foreigners to invest in property, partly by making them obtain land use rights before developing projects.

March 23, 2007 - The construction ministry says it will check whether local governments are implementing measures aimed at cooling the market and errant officials will be held accountable

Jan 23, 2007 - The construction ministry says it will increase taxes to discourage sales of big homes

Jan 17, 2007 - The national tax administration says it will start taxing the appreciation of property values based on actual market prices. Chinese developers say later that their earnings will be little affected by enforcement of a land appreciation tax that authorities had largely ignored for years

July 27, 2006 - Government says it will start imposing a tax on second-hand property sales on Aug 1, implementing a directive issued two months earlier.

July 24, 2006 - China’s cabinet approves rules restricting purchases of property by foreigners

May 29, 2006 - China’s cabinet says houses sold within five years of purchase will be subject to a business tax — levied at 5 percent — payable on the total sale price

The same amount will be taxed on the capital gains of luxury housing even after five years had elapsed.

The cabinet raises the down payment requirement for those seeking mortgages to 30 percent from 20 percent. This applies only to housing larger than 90 sq meters and not to individuals buying real estate for their own use.

At least 70 percent of all new apartments constructed must be no more than 90 sq meters

June 1, 2005 - The government launches a nationwide capital gains tax of 5.5 percent on houses sold within two years

March 16, 2005 - China allows banks to raise mortgage rates and to increase down payments to 30 percent from 20 percent. Rates on a typical five-year mortgage rise to at least 5.51 percent from 5.31 percent

(See www.reutersrealestate.com for the new global service for real estate professionals from Reuters)

Reporting by Dominic Whiting; Editing by Kim Coghill

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