People's stronger desire to buy their own houses in China has curbed consumption of other commodities, said an expert with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).
Although the government has taken measures to curb housing price hikes, residents in 70 large and middle-sized cities across the country still saw a price increase of 7 percent in 2007, said Li Peilin, director of the Sociology Institute under CASS.
In some big cities such as Beijing and Shenzhen, he said, the housing price has risen by more than 10 percent.
Many people had to reduce their expenditure on other commodities to buy houses earlier than they originally planned. As a result, China's consumption rate has reached new low of 36 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) last year, compared with figures in the past 10 years.
Li said the other factor which has brought major impact on people's life is the surging food price, especially the prices of pork, vegetable, edible oil and grain.