May 20, 2017 / 7:00 AM / 3 months ago

Chinese city of Changsha restricts housing purchases: Xinhua

People ride past a residential complex Changsha, Hunan province, China, September 24, 2016.Yawen Chen

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - The central city of Changsha on Saturday became the latest place in China to restrict housing purchases in an effort to try to cool the property market, the state news agency Xinhua reported.

From Saturday, residents of Changsha, in Hunan province, will be allowed to own a maximum two homes, and non-local people will be restricted to one, so long as the buyers provide evidence of at least 12 months of income tax and social security payments in the city, Xinhua said.

In addition, property may not be re-sold within two years, it added.

Dozens of Chinese cities have put restrictions on property purchases in recent months as the government intensified measures to check surging prices.

In the first two months this year, investment in China's real estate market rose 8.9 percent from the same period last year to more than 985 billion yuan ($143.11 billion), and home sales jumped 26 percent to over 1 trillion yuan, Xinhua said.

On Friday, China issued a draft of new rules for property sales and leasing, requiring developers to promptly publish accurate price information for new homes on sale, barring them from charging various additional fees, hoarding unsold homes or spreading false information about rising prices.

China has struggled to control surging home prices over the last year, with the government often blaming unscrupulous behavior by developers and property agents for encouraging higher prices.

Reporting by John Ruwitch and Winni Zhou; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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