Hengyang to lift cap on new homes

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Hengyang, the second-largest city of Central China's Hunan province, decided to suspend cap on new commercial housing starting from Jan 1, 2019, according to a report from Beijing News, citing Hengyang Real Estate Association yesterday.

The one-year-old home price restriction policy has regulated new real estate sales in the past year, and as the property prices in Hengyang have returned back to normal and remained stable, the city's Development and Reform Commission and housing construction bureau decided to suspend price-cap for new commercial housings.

Previously, real estate developers in Hengyang city were asked to announce the selling prices on the official website of Hengyang real estate transaction service after obtaining commercial housing pre-sale licenses, and were prohibited from raising the prices in actual sales.

"As a third- or fourth-tier city with average housing prices at around 6,000 yuan ($872) per square meter, there is no need for the local government to continue price curb since home prices there have dropped since September this year," said Zhang Dawei, chief analyst at Centaline Property. Zhang also said that real estate policies nationwide will remain strict in 2019.

Incomplete statistics compiled by news portal Jiemian.com shows that by Dec 20, a dozen of cities in China have loosened property market regulation, such as canceling restrictions on housing sales, purchasing, and maximum prices, as well as lower mortgage rates, etc.

These cities include Lanzhou in Gansu province, Heze in Shandong province, Zhuhai, Guangzhou in Guangdong province, and Hangzhou in Zhejiang province.

The fine-tuned policies in certain cities are made out of local realities, which will have little impact on the whole market, said multiple industry insiders.

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