China is trying to cool overheated property markets in the country’s largest cities, launching stringent measures at local level to damp sales – even punishing overzealous estate agents. Amid a 15-month price surge in the country’s biggest cities, with some such as Xiamen recording annual growth above 40% in August, municipal governments have moved this week to reduce what Beijing sees as excess speculation, the Financial Times reports. Hangzhou on Tuesday introduced rules requiring buyers at auction of high-priced land to pay the full amount within a month, a move aimed at reining in developers prepared to pay above the market rate. Local governments are also trying to put a lid on a boom in home purchases resulting from earlier attempts to ease inventory by lowering downpayment requirements and transaction taxes.
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