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New Rules to Restrict Overseas Home Buyers
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A policy which is designed to limit foreigners and people from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan from buying homes on the mainland will be published in the near future. It's designed to curb speculation in the over-heated property market, China Business News reported Thursday.

Non-citizens have first to get approval to buy mainland properties and then they must register the purchase, the news report said.

The policy goes as far as to stipulate that they can buy only one or two residential properties and the units can't be resold in a certain period of time after purchase, the news report stated.

The policy is an administrative regulation which "will be effective almost instantaneously and keep pace with financial or taxation changes," an official told the newspaper yesterday.

China eliminated the different systems between local and non-local purchase of real estate in 2002. This made China one of the few countries within the 187 member International Monetary Fund who posed no limits on investments in real estate.

Overseas institutional investors have purchased a large number of property projects in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou this year and this has contributed to soaring house prices, previous news reports have stated.

In 2005 alone, foreign investors bought properties in China worth at least US$3.4 billion, with US$5.4 billion being co-invested in housing projects.

(China Business News July 7, 2006)

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