Hainan looks to Property Vacancy Tax to fill up empty apartments
"When developers buy land plots in Hainan, they are targeting high-end, cash-rich buyers from outside the province, and more than 80 percent of the local residential homes are sold to non-locals, which is why the vacancy rate is so high there,” Dai Hong, a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Hainan Committee, said at the committee’s annual plenary meeting on Saturday.
Dai suggested that the government tax a residential home if it remains vacant for 2 years or longer, with the tax to be assessed annually at a rate of 1 percent of the standard value of the building and increase year by year.
"Apart from the fact that vacant homes are a waste of land resources and public services, they pose a threat to the all-around and sustainable development of Hainan province as an international tourism destination," said Wang Yiwu, another member of the committee attending the Feb.11. meeting.
Wang suggested the local government place a tax on homes with high vacancy rates to crack down on speculative buying, and at the same time build more public rental apartments to accommodate low and middle-income families.
Hainan aims to build 75,500 social housing units this year, acting governor Jiang Dingzhi said in a work report delivered on Feb. 9.
The average price of a home in Haikou, Hainan’s capital, inched up 0.35 percent month-on-month in January to 6,884 per square meter. That compares with a 0.18 percent drop in the average price of a home in 100 Chinese cities monitored by the China Index Academy to 8,793 yuan per square meter.
Sanya, a popular resort city in the province, saw the average home price fall 0.23 month-on-month from December, but prices remained at more than double the national average — at 19,074 yuan per square meter — according to the academy’s data.