Those hoping that the Chinese property curbs could soon be chipped at from the top as well as the bottom (from the national government as well as regional authorities) have received another dashing blow this week.
Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang has urged continuing curbs on speculative demand in the real estate sector, continuing the message that the government is pinning its hopes for a soft-landing on plans to build millions of low cost homes.
"The control policies on the property market should be stabilized and their achievements should be consolidated," Li said at a recent conference on low-income housing projects.
The supply of commodity houses need to be increased but speculation and investment demand in the [property] market must be curbed, Li continued, calling for more efforts to on the governments plan to build millions of affordable housing units.
China's government has vowed to build 36 million affordable housing units during the 2011-2015 period to meet demand from low-income families. In 2011, it started construction of 10 million units.
This will not please the commentators who have almost insisted that the point is nearing where the curbs will be eased. Curbs which began in 2010 with higher deposit requirements, other minor restrictive measures then subsequently became outright bans on second home purchases and even additional taxation in some cities.
With the increasing severity of the measures eventually the run of strong growth was broken, and prices have been falling consistently since late last year. The house price falls have led to protests, and as the overall economy slowed more and more analysts have voiced hopes and even predictions that the curbs would be eased soon. While the central government has consistently dashed these hopes with statements from high ranking officials each time the issue came up, with statements from several departments of the central government last month, including the central bank and the housing regulator saying that their policies wouldn't change, and now of course the statements from Vice Premier Keqiang.
- Wednesday 04 July 2012