Against a background of runaway property prices combined with overdevelopment, China is planning a national property tax to rebalance the sector, with the blessing of many industry players.
"Up until now, if you own a property in China, there's no holding cost. If your home is sitting there empty -- you're not using it, you're not renting it out -- there's no penalty because you don't really feel hurt," said Zhang Xin, CEO of commercial property developer Soho China.
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"There's so many buildings being built and not really being occupied and not being utilized and so (introducing) the property tax will deal directly [with] that," she added.
The residential property market in China is a mass of contradictions: prices in many cities have surged, often becoming unaffordable for homebuyers, even as many apartments are scooped up by speculators and sit empty.