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Wuhu government abolishes transfer taxes to boost real estate sector
Global Times | February 10, 2012 00:23
By Yu Xi
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A local government announced yesterday that it would carry out new policies to boost the real estate market, according to a document released on its official website.

The government of Wuhu, a third-tier city in East China's Anhui Province, declared that purchasers would not need to pay property transfer taxes when buying commercial property from January 1 to December 31 this year.

The government also said it would provide subsidies ranging from 50 yuan ($7.95) to 150 yuan per square meter to purchasers, depending on the scale of the property.

The local government was not available yesterday to comment on the new policies.

"Obviously the local government would like to support the real estate market to ease financial pressures. But what happens in the nationwide market still depends on the attitude of the central government," Liu Yuan, a senior manager at Shanghai-based Centaline China Property Research, told the Global Times yesterday.

If the central government approves the new practice launched by the local authorities in Wuhu, it's possible that the property market around the country could improve this year, Liu noted.

But some analysts were less confident. "Subsidies and tax-free policies are not so effective for driving housing sales, and a local decision cannot really influence the whole country's real estate market," Zhang Dazhi, a senior real estate consultant at Adfaith Management Consulting, told the Global Times yesterday.

Han Changji, an analyst with CIC Industry Research Center, said that although the new policies could help ease the pressure on local real estate developers, the central government would not loosen the restriction policies around the nation.

The central government began pushing a series of policies to cool the over-heated real estate market last year, and there has been a continuous decline in prices since then. Commercial housing sales in East China's Zhejiang Province fell by 21.6 percent last year, according to a report by Xinhua News Agency yesterday.

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