SHANGHAI - China will levy property taxes in more cities this year and expand pilot programmes in Shanghai and Chongqing, the official Shanghai Securities News reported on Thursday, citing an official at the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.
The State Council, the country's cabinet, has already decided to expand the scheme, and will likely adopt the"Shanghai model", according to which only certain classes of new homes are subject to property tax, the newspaper said.
China will continue to restrict real estate speculation and investment, keeping in place government curbs on the industry, the newspaper cited Qin Hong, head of policy research at the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, as saying.
China has introduced a series of measures, including lending curbs, price controls and tax levies to cool its once-red hot property market. Chinese banks lent 242.7 billion yuan (S$47.3 billion) worth of property loans between January and March, down 54 per cent from a year earlier.
However, the government of Shanghai, under pressure to sustain economic growth, is considering measures to encourage property transactions and investment, the Shanghai Securities News reported in a separate article on Thursday.
The report gave no details of the measures, but said they were aimed at meeting the demand of low-income and first-home buyers and will not conflict with the central government's approach to the property market.
Shanghai's gross domestic production rose 7 per cent during the first quarter, down 1.5 percentage points from a year earlier, dragged down partly by the real estate sector, the newspaper said.