Home-buying restrictions are unlikely to ease
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