Chinese cities aim to root out irregular property market activities
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A couple fishing along Pearl River (or Zhu Jiang) next to office buildings in downtown Guangzhou, Guangdong province December 7, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer
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BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Guangzhou city will step up its monitoring of irregular activities in the property market while developers in Wuhan will be more closely scrutinizes as the government intensifies efforts to cool real estate prices across the country.
A rapid rise in property prices in China's major cities this year has raised fresh concerns about ballooning debt.
The Guangzhou Housing and Urban-Rural Construction Committee said in a notice posted on its website on Wednesday that a special team has been set up to investigate misconduct of real estate developers and agencies.
The committee will look out for illegal practices such as false advertising, inventing and spreading rumors, carrying out presales without certificates, withholding unsold apartments, price manipulation and illegally charging additional fees.
In central China's transportation hub Wuhan, the housing bureau, using a credit point system to rate developers' trustworthiness, announced on Monday that 11 developers had been penalized with credit point deductions for activities such as false advertising.
The number of real estate developers busted for irregular activities has increased significantly since August, information from the bureau's website showed.
China's housing ministry announced last Friday that it would crack down on nine types of misconduct by real estate developers.
Elsewhere, the Shanghai branch of China's central bank said that commercial banks in the country's financial capital should continue strictly implementing a tight policy on real estate lending.
The authority also urged banks in Shanghai to strengthen their checks on sources of down payment funds for real estate purchases, the People's Bank of China's Shanghai branch said in a statement published on its website.
(Reporting by Yawen Chen and Nicholas Heath; Additional reporting by Winni Zhou and John Ruwitch in SHANGHAI; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)
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