China completes landmark national real estate registration system


BEIJING, April 25 (Reuters) – China has finished building a national and unified system for real estate registration, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday, in a landmark move that will boost transparency in ownership.

In 2014, China issued rules requiring real estate owners to register their holdings with authorities but faced heavy resistance from local governments unwilling to open up their books.

A unified real estate database for the entire country is seen as vital for the central government to regulate the housing market and also force corrupt local officials to disclose multiple properties purchased with illicit funds, industry experts say.

China has completed the system after 10 years of hard work, Xinhua reported, citing Minister of Natural Resources Wang Guanghua at a work conference.

More than 790 million real estate registration certificates have been issued nationwide over the past decade, according to state television.

A unified real estate registration system with a national database of information on ownership would also pave the way for China to implement a property tax in the future.

Reporting by Ryan Woo; Editing by Andrew Heavens

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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