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Xiongan moves to curb speculation on real estate

Xiongan New Area in Hebei province has rolled out a series of measures to stabilize property prices and curb speculation, including tackling illegal activities and providing information.

Prices have surged since the central government unveiled its blueprint for the area on April 1.

According to the official WeChat account for Xiongan, more than 1,000 houses, both for commercial and residential use, have been rented to nonlocal enterprises and individuals who have swarmed into Xiongan in the past five months.

China announced the plan to create Xiongan New Areaabout 100 kilometers southwest of Beijing-to promote the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.

It will take on some of Beijing's noncapital functions and be home to some large enterprises, financial institutions, colleges and research centers.

More than 60 large companies, mostly State-owned enterprises, have settled in Rongcheng county, where the temporary offices of the Xiongan government are located.

These SOEs have rented 65 of the 398 homes that have been made available since April 1, according to the WeChat account.

Following an influx of nonlocal people, rental prices for houses in Xiongan rose sharply. Some prices doubled, and then redoubled.

Wang Cheng, a native of Rongcheng, said his 130-square-meter house, which once rented for 10,000 yuan ($1,500) per year, can now fetch at least 40,000 yuan.

"That's the way it is," Wang said, adding that all rental prices had increased, and he didn't plan to just stand by and watch.

To cope with the situation, the governments of the three counties covered by Xiongan-Xiongxian, Rongcheng and Anxin-introduced a series of measures that included shutting down illegal real estate agencies and establishing government-led rental platforms to help lessors and tenants.

Local public security bureaus are monitoring the market. Investigations have uncovered nearly 300 illegal rental businesses, and people involved have been punished.

The Xiongan government said it will accelerate the construction of 100,000 square meters of buildings to accommodate both SOEs and private enterprises that have rental needs.

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