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Government to enhance control
By Su Bei (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-04-28 05:50

Strict land control and tax policies are among eight measures being implemented to beef up macro-control over China's red-hot real estate sector.

The measures were proposed by a State Council executive meeting held in Beijing yesterday.

According to the meeting, presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao, the government will increase planning in real estate development to improve the structure of the commercial housing supply.

Local governments are required to make public the amount of ordinary and low-priced economy housing to be built this year and next as early as possible.

The government will also enforce strict management of land supply.

Ordinary housing and economy housing volume is to be increased in cities where land and housing prices have risen too rapidly.

The executive meeting noted the government will enhance price control over ordinary and economy housing to ensure a sufficient supply of medium- and small-sized homes.

The government will also improve the low-rent housing system to cover more of the urban population.

Participants in the meeting agreed that the government should use economic measures including tax policies to control the real estate market.

They also agreed that the government should strengthen its financial supervision over both real estate development and individual housing loans to prevent loan risks, while also increasing market monitoring.

China's average housing prices rose 12.5 per cent during the first quarter of this year, despite the government taking a series of macro-control measures to try to keep prices down.

Economists say housing prices have risen too much and are worried there could be more serious economic difficulties if the government does not properly deal with the problem of out-of-proportion price increases.

Niu Li, a senior economist with the State Information Centre, agreed the housing sector in some of the country's cities such as Shanghai and Hangzhou was overheating.

(China Daily 04/28/2005 page2)

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