Seven arrested: China stamps on speculation after new city news

Seven people have been arrested in China for "real estate violations" in the property-buying stampede that ensued after President Xi Xinping said a new economic zone would be built south of Beijing.

Highways were reported to be clogged and people were camping outside real estate agents’ offices in the rush to buy property thought to be inside the Xiongan New Area, 100km south of Beijing in Hebei province.

The idea of Xiongan is to gradually relocate Beijing’s industry there, leaving the capital free to concentrate on being the administrative centre of the country. The new area spans the counties of Xiongxian, Rongcheng and Anxin.

But the preparatory committee for Xiongan New Area took a dim view of the speculative stampede, announcing yesterday that seven people had been arrested for "real estate violations", state news site China Daily reported.

And, by 4 April, the committee had discovered 765 real estate violations, according to a statement.

"After news of the Xiongan area became public, the behaviour and hype of speculators pushed housing prices to a new high," the statement said.

The committee said it will continue to address inconsistencies in the trade and construction of houses, and will work toward achieving a stable real estate market, the statement said.

Image: Within the new area: Baoding City, Hebei Province, China (Fanghong/CC3.0)

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