More cities put a clamp on property price rises

Updated 2016-12-27 14:08:15 chinadaily.com.cn

Two major cities in Central China have further tightened housing purchase restrictions in the latest bid to rein in rising house prices.

Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, and Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, have adopted the measures, taking the number of cities trying to cool the red-hot property market to 22, The Time Weekly reported.

Driven by policies such as de-stocking, sold floor areas, prices of properties and new constructions have all reached new highs this year, triggering a slew of measures to curb the property market.

The earliest cities to roll out measures to curb its property market were Shanghai and Shenzhen, as well as the four cities that had the biggest increase in house prices; Suzhou, Hefei, Xiamen and Nanjing.

However, the panic-buying mood extended to several other cities. During the first half of this year, commercial housing sales experienced a year-on-year growth of more than 50 percent for three consecutive months.

In late September, Beijing announced a requirement for higher deposits on property, aimed at cooling down the market.

Twenty-one first and second-tier cities including Tianjin, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen have released restrictions on home purchases since then, and the market has begun to respond, showing signs of slowing down.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China's property sales growth slowed sharply to 7.9 percent in November from a year ago, its lowest since December 2015, and well short of 26.4 percent increase in October.

Market overdraft and policy pressures make the future not that optimistic and it's inevitable to go through a periodical adjustment. Future Land Holdings senior vice-president Ouyang Jie told the newspaper that this round of adjustment would take 18 months at least.

More measures will be taken to control property bubbles, the top leadership said at a high-level financial meeting last week. This is the fourth time that the central government has talked about asset bubbles this year.

Dealing with the property bubble and property speculation has become the new policy tone for the year ahead. Domestic economist Ma Guangyuan said that in addition to curbing speculation, renewing and designing the basic system of China's property market would also be a priority.

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