29 Jan 2011

China introduces property tax

9:52 am on 29 January 2011

China has introduced a property tax for home buyers to try to curb record house prices and tame inflation.

The measure came into effect on Friday. It will apply to those buying second homes in Shanghai and Chongqing.

The tax, paid annually, is between 0.4% and 1.2% of the purchase price, depending on how the price compares with market averages.

In Shanghai, buyers will pay between 0.4% and 0.6% tax on their new second homes.

In the south western city of Chongqing, the tax is more staggered, ranging from 0.5% to 1.2%.

Mayor Huang Qifan said it would "help to curb speculation in the housing market".

The BBC reports property prices are one of the main drivers of inflation in China.

GDP grew by 10.3% last year - the fastest annual pace since the financial crisis. Inflation was 4.6% in December.