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Dalian takes unusual steps  to contain home prices

Dalian

DALIAN, one of the most developed cities in China's north, is going to unprecedented lengths to keep a lid on home prices.

According to an official news agency report on Wednesday that quoted a local-government statement, all home builders in the city must now seek sales approval by inputting an apartment's proposed price into a centralised computer system. Prices must be lower than the bottom price for similar dwellings sold in May and June, and any higher prices won't be be entertained.

There's also a limit on what's too low - selling an apartment for more than 5 per cent cheaper is prohibited as well. Dalian's government will even bring in a third-party appraisal firm to help developers do their math, and those that don't follow the system will be banned from the city.

It's yet another example of the sometimes extreme lengths authorities in China will go to control the nation's real-estate sector. Other restrictions have included banning anyone not born in a particular city from purchasing property there, or barring anyone who's single or even just getting a divorce. BLOOMBERG

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