China to stick to controlling property market

Updated: 2011-08-26 09:17


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BEIJING-- China will continue to implement macro-control policies on its property sector, a senior official said Thursday.

"We'll unswervingly stick to controlling the property market without changing the direction or loosening the policies," said Zhang Ping, head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China's top economic planner.

He made the remarks in his report on the implementation of national economic and social development plan for the first seven months of this year to the National People's Congress Standing Committee, the country's top legislature.

The government's macro-control policies have been relatively well implemented, Zhang said, adding that house prices in some cities had started to cool.

In July, 31 cities out of the country's 70 major urban centers saw new home prices decline or remain unchanged from a month earlier, compared with 26 cities in June, according to official figures.

Fourteen cities saw month-on-month declines in new home prices in July, up from 12 in June.

Rocketing property prices have been a major government and buyer concern in China as purchasing an apartment has become an unrealistic dream for many ordinary citizens.

The Chinese government has restricted residents in 43 major cities from buying second or third homes and is preparing to extend the restrictions to the country's second- and third-tier cities.

It also has required higher down payments for mortgages and instituted new property taxes in the cities of Chongqing and Shanghai to rein in the runaway prices.

Zhang urged authorities to curb speculative house buying and increase market supply.

Measures must be taken to ensure enough funds and land supply for construction of affordable houses and to improve quality control on those projects, he said.