Shanghai’s municipal government may levy an annual tax of about 1.5% of the value of properties, the Hunan province-based Xiaoxiang Morning Herald newspaper has reported, citing a developer who declined to be identified.

The government will make the announcement on 15 May, the newspaper said. Several Shanghai-based developers have received “hints” that new policies are poised to be issued to cap prices, and have begun to sell their properties, it said. The Oriental Morning Post said the tax will be around 0.8 percent.

“Shanghai house prices would fall sharply if it was introduced, but I think 0.8 percent is more likely because the government doesn’t want home prices to fall that much,” said Zhang Chifei, a Nanjing-based analyst at Huatai Securities Co. The Shanghai Municipal Housing Support and Building Administration Bureau didn’t answer phone calls seeking comment.