Chinese resort Sanya is keeping rules aimed at curbing property speculation, according to its province’s deputy governor, in contrast to other parts of the country that want to ease limits and reverse declines in prices.

The city on Hainan will limit home sales to non-island buyers to the equivalent of 5,000 100-square-meter apartments a year, Jiang Sixian, deputy governor of Hainan and secretary of Sanya’s Communist Party committee, said in an interview in Beijing yesterday. As a result, home sales will keep falling in 2012, he said.

The resort on the tropical island off China’s southern coast is trying to reduce speculation from outsiders that’s “depleting our resources” and boost its year-round population, Jiang said. Hainan’s goal is to become an international tourism destination and win visitors away from Indonesia’s Bali or Thailand’s Phuket.

"We’ll be very prudent in handling housing demand from outside,” Jiang, 57, said while in Beijing attending an annual lawmakers’ congress. “Many people bought homes only for visiting in winter.”

Hainan’s willingness to maintain property curbs contrasts with recent efforts in Shanghai to loosen home-purchase restrictions and in the eastern city of Wuhu to subsidize some sales.

China’s home sales by square meters fell 16 percent in January and February combined from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said today. The value of homes sold declined 25 percent after surging 26 percent in the first two months of 2011.

Jiang said Sanya’s home prices “dropped a bit” in the first two months of 2012 from a year earlier. Developers are becoming “more rational” when setting apartment prices, he said.

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