SHANGHAI: Beijing's property tax plans and fresh signs of weakening in China's housing market knocked real estate shares in the country on Monday despite the central bank's efforts to calm nerves over China Evergrande Group's debt woes.
Bonds in the sector, however, enjoyed a day of healthy gains following upbeat central bank comments and after developer Kaisa Group said it had paid the coupon on one of its dollar bonds and planned to make a payment on a second this week.
The CSI300 Real Estate Index, which tracks the stocks of China's biggest developers, fell 2.6% with China Vanke and Poly Development dropping more than 3%. Real estate shares have slumped 22% this year.
Hong Kong property shares fared better though, with an index tracking mainland firms ending the day 0.8% up.
China's President Xi Jinping called on Friday for the nation to "vigorously and steadily advance" legislation for a property tax, which could curb rampant speculation, according to an essay in the ruling Communist Party journal Qiushi.
Rocky Fan, economist at Sealand Securities, said property tax expectations were negative for real estate shares because "people would balk at buying properties and take a wait-and-see attitude, hurting developers' revenues".