In a statement jointly issued by the Ministry of Finance, the tax bureau and the housing ministry, the government said the size of the tax and the date of introduction will be decided by local governments.
It said the tax will narrow China's gaping income gap, and the money collected from it will accrue to the fiscal budgets of local governments.
The government's announcement came just as the western Chinese city of Chongqing is due to detail its property tax plans later on Thursday evening.
Property prices are one of the two main drivers of China's inflation, alongside food prices.
To allay consumer concerns about rising prices, the Chinese government has repeatedly vowed to prioritise the task of taming inflation.
To that end, Qi Ji, a vice minister at China's housing ministry, said in an interview with the official Xinhua news agency that the government will firmly crack down on any "speculative buying" in the housing market this year.
Speculation that China could introduce a property tax has helped dragged Chinese stocks down 15 percent in the past ten weeks.
Thursday's property measure is the latest in a series that China has unveiled since late 2009, including increasing down payments and mortgage rates.