Home-buy­ing re­stric­tions are un­likely to ease

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - NATION - By ZHENG YANGPENG zhengyang­peng@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China will keep its prop­er­ty­mar­ket pol­icy sta­ble in 2014 and strengthen im­ple­men­ta­tion in cities that are see­ing soar­ing hous­ing prices, a se­nior of­fi­cial said on Tues­day.

Jiang Weixin, min­is­ter of hous­ing and ur­ban- ru­ral devel­op­ment, said at a na­tional work con­fer­ence that the min­istry will em­pha­size “dif­fer­en­ti­ated con­trol” to in­crease the res­i­den­tial land sup­ply in cities that are fac­ing great up­ward price pres­sure — a ref­er­ence to first-tier cities such as Bei­jing and Shang­hai.

An­a­lysts said this in­di­cates that the cur­rent con­trol pol­icy will not be changed in 2014, nor is it likely that hous­ing pur­chase re­stric­tions in ma­jor cities will be eased.

“There is no new idea in Jiang’s state­ment, and that means that ad­di­tional curb­ing poli­cies won’t come out in the short term,” said Liu Weimin, a real es­tate re­searcher in the Devel­op­ment Re­search Cen­ter of the State Coun­cil.

Liu said that the key now is im­ple­men­ta­tion at the lo­cal level since lo­cal gov­ern­ments’ res­i­den­tial land and hous­ing hold­ings greatly af­fect sup­ply and de­mand, and there­fore prices.

Lo­cal gov­ern­ments tra­di­tion­ally are re­luc­tant to curb home prices be­cause money from land sales con­sti­tutes the bulk of their rev­enues.

Mean­while, Jiang vowed to con­tinue to build mil­lions of af­ford­able hous­ing units.

The govern­ment plans to start con­struc­tion of more than 6 mil­lion af­ford­able units and to com­plete 4.8 mil­lion units next year.

It com­pleted 4.7 mil­lion af­ford­able units af­ter start­ing con­struc­tion of 6.3 mil­lion units in 2013, ac­cord­ing to the min­istry’s statis­tics.

Jiang’s state­ment came af­ter the lat­est of­fi­cial data showed that the price of homes in large Chi­nese cities con­tin­ued to rise in November, de­spite fresh cool­ing mea­sures in more than a dozen cities in re­cent months.

Com­pared with November 2012, all but one of 70 ma­jor cities mon­i­tored by the govern­ment re­ported gains in new home prices last month.

Twenty- six cities posted an an­nual in­crease of 10 per­cent or higher, with cities like Shang­hai, Guangzhou and Bei­jing ris­ing more than 20 per­cent from a year ear­lier.

To check soar­ing home prices, cities — in­clud­ing Bei­jing, Shen­zhen, Nan­jing and Shang­hai — have an­nounced a se­ries of mea­sures, in­clud­ing higher min­i­mum down pay­ments for sec­ond- home buy­ers, tight­ened scru­tiny of non- lo­cal buy­ers and more land sup­plies.

Xin­hua con­trib­uted to this story

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