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China home sales surge, tighter property rules expected again

Published on Mar 12, 2013 5:34 PM

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China's home price inflation may be steeper than official data suggest, with a near quadrupling of home sales in the capital last week after the government unveiled tax plans to curb speculation, a sign that investors have giant gains to lock in.

Pre-owned home sales in Beijing soared 280 per cent year-on-year in the week of March 2-8, according to local government data, and were up 141 per cent on the previous week.

The government announced on March 1 plans to introduce a 20 per cent capital gains tax and higher downpayments for second-time home buyers to dampen expectations of more price rises.

Analysts say the strong transaction data reinforces an emerging view that the government believes demand is running hotter than official measures of headline price rises imply and decided to rein them in.

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