Buyers check out offerings at a residential property display during a real estate fair in Nantong city, east China's Jiangsu province. Photo: AFP

China’s determination to tackle the country’s overheated property market was reinforced during a top level meeting in Beijing which ended on Friday with the message that “houses are for living in, not speculating on.”

The three-day closed door session of the annual Central Economic Work Conference was attended by the country’s top leaders including politburo members to map out the economic agenda for the year ahead.

The main message to come out of the meeting was that the current crackdown on the property market would continue.

In early October this year, over 20 cities were subjected to what have been called “the strictest regulations ever” to tighten mortgage lending and impose purchase limits.

The official Chinese news agency, Xinhua, reported after Friday’s conference session that further regulations were expected to make it harder for people to borrow money to speculate in the housing market, while supporting those who were looking for homes to live in.

Some analysts believe the continued crackdown could result in a nationwide property tax.

“Further measures are needed in the property market to cool things down and eliminate buying for investment or speculation,” said Ren Xingzhou, a former director at the State Council Research and Development Center in an article carried by Economic Information Daily on Monday.

The aim is not to burst the housing bubble, but to focus on maintaining stability in the market, he added.

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