Detailed property control policies underway

Chinese authorities are discussing and preparing policy details to contain fast-rising home prices in some cities amid the government’s recent pledge to keep control measures continuous and steady, the China Securities Journal reported Monday.

Related ministries and local governments have been offering policy suggestions and stepping up market analyses regarding recent dynamics in the property market, said the report.

Last week, the Ministry of Land and Resources said in a meeting centered on the issue that it will keep land supplies basically steady and send the right signals to the market to prevent panic.

Other authorities, including related departments in Beijing, where prices have seen the greatest fluctuation, have been studying policy reserves during their internal meetings in response to the central government’s latest call.

Last week, the State Council, China’s cabinet, pledged to strictly implement and improve tightening measures on the housing market in light of faster-than-expected price rises in some cities.

The control directions the State Council named include expanding experimental property tax reforms, ensuring land supplies for housing projects and accelerating construction of government-subsidized housing.

Although these measures may sound mild, they do imply room for further tightening moves, the China Securities Journal cited unnamed analysts as saying.

Yang Hongxu, vice president of the Shanghai-based R&D institute E-house China, said China is very likely to expand property tax pilot schemes to more regions this year, with major cities and some well-prepared areas in central and western China as the most likely targets.

Other strict measures to curb demand and stimulate supplies are also possible if the situation continues to worsen, according to Hu Jinghui, vice president of 5i5j Real Estate.

Some policy details may be announced before early March, when the national legislature and consultative body convene, the China Securities Journal forecast.

China’s housing market experienced a brief cooling-off period starting in 2010, when tightening policies such as higher down payments and restrictions on third-home purchases were introduced.

However, the market began to heat up last year, after the central government put more emphasis on economic growth.

Home prices kept rising at a quicker pace in major Chinese cities in January. Out of a statistical pool of 70 major Chinese cities monitored by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), 53 saw home prices increase within 2.2 percent month on month in January.


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