BEIJING, March 31-- A month of heated debate, guesswork and worrying has ultimately come to an end with cities across China confirming details of planned property curbs that have loomed large over the market.
Beating the buzzer at the approaching deadline, municipalities including Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing, along with Hefei of Anhui Province and Xiamen of Fujian Province, on Saturday announced precisely how they will implement the central government's regulatory plan set earlier this month.
Homeowners who sell will face income tax as high as 20 percent of the profit they make on the transaction. With no firm timeline set for the imposition of the measure, which is designed to cool the red-hot property sector, many are racing to sell.
South China's Guangdong Province was first to detail its implementation of the measures on Tuesday, and the rumor spread that other big cities would publicize curbs on Sunday.
All the announcements basically followed the central measures aimed to cool down the abnormally expanded property market, while the specific plans made by individual cities aroused great public interest.
Beijing ruled that single adults with a permanent Beijing residence registration, who have not made purchases in the city before, are allowed to buy only one apartment.
Shanghai said banks will be banned from giving loans to local residents who are buying a third apartment or more.
The two mega-cities both vowed to strictly implement the 20-percent tax on capital gains from property sales.
Southwestern municipality Chongqing said the rate of growth in home prices will be kept slower than per capita income, and pre-sell permits will be suspended in the case of overpriced houses or those with surging prices.
Hefei and Xiamen also attached importance to stabilizing home prices and slowing increases to a level citizens can bear.
Yin Zhongli, a finance researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, spoke highly of the Beijing measures as stricter ways to cool the market and make home and land prices stable.
"The measures, except those of Beijing, turned out to be less detailed but just more of the same," A microblogger with the screen name "Yanghongxu" wrote on Sina Weibo, a Chinese Twitter-like microblogging platform.
Microblogger "Laoaiguancha," a financial columnist of Sina.com, regarded the measures as still too mild, sufficient to fulfil the central government's requirements but not to cut down home prices.
Famous microblogger "Ren Zhiqiang," president of a real estate company in Beijing, stayed true to form in never missing a chance for online discussion, reiterating his opinions against applying administrative tools to interpose the market.
Jia Kang, a researcher with the Ministry of Finance, said the regulations need a clearer definition of how to calculate the property gains from transaction profits.
In fact, the situation in Beijing topped all the topics discussed because of its measures to tackle profiteering, with the capital specifically imposing a limit involving marriage.
"Caijingwang" borrowed a joke about a couple with permanent Beijing residence registration deciding to divorce on Friday, simply so they could buy another house, only to find their bold move in vain when the measure of "allowing a family with a single adult to have one apartment" was introduced on Saturday.
Under the current policy, each Beijing family is entitled to have at most two homes, which has created a "fake divorce" phenomenon every time a regulation on the property market appears.
The official Sina Weibo microblog of the People's Daily worried of the "fake divorce" trend in recent weeks that those "divorced" to take advantage of loopholes will have to remarry as soon as possible.
However, real estate agents like Zhongyuan and 5i5j both said such a phenomenon was rare, and people investing in real estate are unlikely to choose such complicated and risky way to do so.