CHINA / National

Home owners rush to beat tax deadline
By Zhang Yu (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-06-01 05:56

SHANGHAI: Property owners rushed to register the sales of their housing units yesterday before a 5.5 per cent transaction tax on sale of houses within five years of purchase comes into effect today.

Till yesterday, only those selling property less than two years after purchase had to pay the tax; and the new policy is part of central government measures announced earlier this week to cool down the real-estate market.

As early as 5 am yesterday, hundreds of sellers, buyers and agents started queuing in front of Shanghai Property Trading Centre at Laoshan Road West, Pudong District; and rushed in as soon as the doors opened.

Ding Hui, a tax official at the trading centre, said that about 500 people turned up yesterday, three times more than usual.

"I will have to work overtime," said Ding, as the office became overcrowded.

According to Liu Yiming, senior property consultant with Midland Property in Shanghai, most of the people in the hall were those reselling their houses within 2-5 years of purchase.

One of them was Wang Jing, a middle-aged woman who sold her home she bought 3 years ago; and had to wait 4 hours to pay the tax.

"If I didn't complete the transaction today, I would have had pay to an extra 80,000 yuan (US$10,000) that's a lot of money." 


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