Higher taxes on property transactions would do more than a property tax to curb speculation, an influential Chinese policy maker said in an editorial published on Saturday, in which he advocated maintaining current cooling measures in the second half.

Xia Bin called for a continuation of measures imposed in the first half of the year, in order to counter suspicion in the market over whether China is firmly committed to current policies, in an op-ed in the Financial News.

Xia, one of three academic advisers on the People's Bank of China's (PBoC) monetary policy committee, has knowledge of central bank thinking but his comments represent his personal views, not official policy.

Chinese housing prices dipped in June compared with May, their first such fall since February 2009, prompting hopes among real estate developers that tightening measures will soon be abandoned.

Xia did not lend much enthusiasm to a state think tank's proposal of a property tax to cool the housing market.

The time frame for a property tax to be fully implemented is likely to be rather slow. To truly control housing speculation, it would be better to raise the tax rate on property transactions, Xia wrote.

High housing prices have become an obsession in Chinese popular culture, with many urban young people worried they won't be able to afford an apartment until they have worked for decades.

In an interview with Reuters Insider earlier this week, Yi Xiaodi, head of property developer Sunshine 100, said many local governments are already circumventing the central government's tightening rules.

(Reporting by Lucy Hornby, editing by Jonathan Thatcher)