The Shenzhen municipal government has issued a new rule on the use of construction land, setting a deadline of four years for all residential property projects, Securities Daily reported.

All housing construction projects must kick off within one year from the date of signing the land transfer contract, and all the construction must be completed within four years.

For non-residential projects, the commencement and completion period will depend on the height and scale of the building. For those with basements of more than three floors, the starting and finishing date can be extended by another six months.

The new regulation is essentially an important reform on the supply side, said Yan Yue, research director of the think tank at Shanghai Yiju Real Estate Research Institute. Real estate developers may now find it more difficult to deceive home buyers, or delay the delivery of housing, Yan added.