LAND prices in Nanchang city, south of the Yangtze River in the inland province of Jiangxi, are expected to jump when the city's new airport is completed. The price momentum should be further boosted by the full operation of the 2,300 kilometre Beijing-Jiujiang-Kowloon railway in 1997. The city will have a station on the line. 'The land here will become more valuable then,' said Liang Zhangxian, the head of Nanchang city planning and design division. So far only eight plots of land totalling 1.33 hectares have been leased for Sino-foreign joint venture purposes, earning 80 million yuan (about HK$72 million) for the city government. Mr Liang said the advantage for investors setting up in Nanchang was that land leasing came under the auspices of one government department. 'This simplifies the necessary procedures and is less time-consuming,' he said. Construction work on the new airport will begin next year and it will be in the Changbei district, north of Nanchang city. A section of the Beijing-Jiujiang-Kowloon railway situated in the province - from Nanchang to Jian - is already in operation, transporting goods. The vice-director of Nanchang City Land Surface Management Bureau, Zhong Xiaoguang, said land prices were determined according to the districts and the traffic conditions there. Appraisers were making valuations of land in the different districts, Mr Zhong said. He said land prices could range from 18.5 yuan per square foot on the outskirts of the city to 139.35 yuan per sq ft in prime spots in the heart of the city. Popular districts were on the two main roads, Zhongshan Road and Shengli Road, along Ba Yi Road next to the eight-hectare People's Square, and the old districts near the Ganjiang River, which divides the city. While land in the villages could be sold privately, transfer of land rights in the city areas was not allowed, Mr Zhong said. He said land leases were concluded by means of agreements, auctions and tender. The majority of leases had been previously concluded by agreements, but more auctions and tenders would be used in future. Meanwhile, the city's government has introduced a set of regulations for property development projects. They include a construction and development 'responsibility fee'. Developers will have to pay the government five per cent of their total development investment in a bid to stop projects from being abandoned half way and to assure quality.