Rogue developers to be blacklisted

Updated: 2010-12-21 07:44

By Wang Qian (China Daily)

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BEIJING - The country's top land watchdog has ordered local authorities to rein in rapid rises in land prices and pledged to crack down on the hoarding of land, as the country struggles to contain its overheated property market.

Cities that failed to allocate more than 70 percent of their land supply for economically affordable housing, small- or medium-sized housing or shantytown reconstruction will be banned from selling land for high-end real estate projects for the rest of the year, the Ministry of Land and Resources said in a notice released on Sunday.

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Local land and resources bureaus must also report to the ministry within two days if any land is auctioned at more than 50 percent above the guide price or sold for a record sum.

Developers who build prestigious homes on land that had been earmarked and sold for affordable housing will face having the property confiscated by the government, along with their income, the notice said.

Local land authorities were instructed to curb the rapidly rising price of land and strengthen the ministry's efforts to crack down on land hoarding and speculation.

They were further told to check the illegal use of land for real estate development and speed up the recycling of land that has become idle. All information regarding these efforts is to be made available to the public by mid-January.

Developers will be banned from attending land auctions if they have ever engaged in any illegal land transaction, forged documents, broken contracts or left land lying idle for more than a year, the ministry said.

These companies will be blacklisted on a database that is to be continually updated by local land authorities.

China has taken harsh measures to curb housing prices since 2009, as the market in many first- and second-tier cities heated up.

The leaders of 12 cities and counties with serious problems of illegal land use convened with the ministry on Dec 16 to discuss the situation and face possibly being removed from office if they are unable to resolve the issue in their jurisdictions.

Jia Kang, director of the Research Institute for Fiscal Science under the Ministry of Finance, said in early December that a trial plan to impose property tax on newly purchased homes will begin in 2011 in some cities.

Shanghai plans to impose property taxes on new home purchases if the total floor area of the property exceeds 200 square meters, the 21st Century Business Herald reported.

Despite efforts to cool the housing market, prices in November in 70 major cities rose 0.3 percent on October in the third consecutive monthly rise and were 7.7 percent higher than the corresponding period in 2009, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

Experts are not optimistic about efforts to curb the market.

Yan Jinming, a professor of land management at Renmin University of China in Beijing, said property prices have continued to rise despite the stringent measures that have been taken by the government over the past couple of years.


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