BEIJING, April 2 (Reuters) - China is banning new property sales in counties earmarked as part of a new special economic zone in Hebei province.
Government officials alerted developers and agents of the halt at emergency meetings on Sunday morning in Hebei's Xiongxian and Anxin counties, according to the National Business Daily.
Officials had already been investigating some real estate sales operations in the region, the report said.
Over a dozen Chinese cities have imposed fresh curbs on home purchases in recent weeks in a bid to cool off heated prices, after the property market largely shrugged off earlier measures.
Frenzied buying has spilled over from big cities into nearby satellite cities where price rises had been more modest.
The new special economic zone, dubbed the Xiongan New Area, was announced on Saturday and covers 100 square kilometres, with plans to extend it to 2,000 square kilometres.
China is hoping to mimic the rapid growth seen following the establishment of a similar zone in Shenzhen in 1980.
It is also part of a wider project to integrate the economies of Hebei, Tianjin and Beijing.
The proposed special economic zone is about 100 km (60 miles) southwest of Beijing. (Reporting by Cate Cadell; Editing by Kim Coghill)