Beijing introduces tough property restrictions

By Martin Patience
BBC News, Beijing

Image caption,
Like all China's main cities, Chongqing has seen major property development

Chinese officials in Beijing have introduced tough property restrictions in the capital amid growing concerns over a property bubble.

Permanent residents will be limited to buying two apartments; others will be restricted to just one property.

The new restrictions show the authorities are determined to cool down the capital's property market.

Prices in Beijing and in many cities across China have risen dramatically in recent years.

The authorities blame speculation for driving up prices and creating a shortage of homes.

Many Chinese invest in apartments because the returns are often higher than the interest paid by banks.

Mo Tianquan, a real estate expert, believes the latest restrictions are a short-term fix.

"The city government is very determined to make sure property prices do not go up fast. In the long-run I think this will not work. they need a more market-orientated policy and regulations to support the short-term policy," he told the BBC.

The Chinese authorities appear to have introduced these measures fearing that any property crash could provoke social unrest.

Other cities in the country - notably Shanghai - have introduced similar restrictions on buying property in recent months.

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