Beijing: In a bid to avoid a new property sales tax imposed by the government, Chinese couples are now rushing to divorce.
Last Friday, China`s central government issued rules to rein in housing prices, including a nationwide capital gains tax of 20 per cent on profits owners make from selling residential property, reports the Shanghai Daily.
But the terms allow couples with two properties who divorce and put each house into one person`s name to then sell them tax-free under certain conditions, after which they can remarry.
Couples were citing "lack of mutual affection" as the reason to separate, the report said.
A government official said those divorcing included at least one pregnant woman, who said she was divorcing her husband to avoid the possible loss in a property transaction.
He said he told all of them to come back again for remarriage registration.
The southern metropolis of Guangzhou, northeastern city of Harbin and Ningbo in eastern China have also reported rising divorce rates after the tax was announced, the report said.
Another official said that couples appear to be in good moods, and more than half said frankly that they wanted a divorce for the sake of property.
The Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau confirmed the planned tax had triggered a divorce boom, but declined to give a total for the city.
Home prices in 100 major Chinese cities climbed year-on-year for the third consecutive month in February, the independent China Index Academy said, with the national average rising 2.48 per cent to 1,548 dollars per square metre.