China launched a series of steps May 29 to curb the soaring property market. With property prices up by an average of 5.5% in large and medium-sized cities, the government will now require buyers of larger flats to make higher minimum down payments 30%, up from 20% and impose taxes on second-hand apartments sold within five years of purchase, up from two years. Both rules take effect this week and follow general guidelines issued May 17. This is the second time Beijing has moved to slow down the property market in less than a year. The new rules also require developers to build more small units and to start building on new land as soon as possible.