BEIJING, Jan. 9 -- Beijing municipal authorities said Sunday that real estate control measures will be continued to bring housing prices to reasonable levels.
The municipal housing and urban-rural development committee made the remarks responding to local media reports Saturday that Beijing authorities would soon allow home purchases by non-Beijing registered families who have been paying social security or income tax for three straight years, easing from current five straight years.
According to the requirements and instructions from the country's central economic work conference and the municipal government, Beijing will continue its regulatory measures on the real estate sector, which aim to bring the housing prices to reasonable levels, said the committee in a statement via its official microblog.
Last February, Beijing banned local registered families from buying a third apartment and non-local registered families with social security or income tax payments proof in the city for five straight years from buying a second apartment.
The purchasing limit, together with higher lending rates, higher down payment for second homes and a ban on mortgage loans on third homes, has managed to cool off the once red-hot property sector in the Chinese capital.
Sales of new and existing homes in Beijing fell 18.4 percent and 38.2 percent, respectively, in terms of units last year, according to the housing regulator.
The decline in deals forced real estate agencies in Beijing to shut down nearly 1,000 outlets by early last November, according to leading real estate agency Home Link China.
With gloomy prospects, property developers snatched up fewer lands last year.
Beijing fetched 101.93 billion yuan (16.2 billion U.S. dollars) in land premiums last year, sharply lower than 164.03 billion yuan in 2010, according to the China Index Academy.
China has introduced a series of tightening measures to bring property prices down since 2010, including bank lending restrictions, a ban on third-home purchases and trial property taxes in the cities of Shanghai and Chongqing.
The government's policies will be maintained in 2012 to bring housing prices to a reasonable level, according to the country's central economic work conference last month, which mapped out policies and goals for 2012.