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China Daily Website


Housing market cools in Beijing

Updated: 2008-10-24 10:51

The Chinese government plans to reactivate the housing market by reducing real estate taxes and fees. Despite the moves it may still be difficult to convince people to buy in the current climate.

Yang Meng has been working in Beijing for three years. His dream is to hav

e his own home in the city. But soaring housing prices have dashed his hopes one time after another. He visits real estate agents for information whenever he is free, and high prices are a sore point.

Yang Meng said, "I am getting old and am ready to get married. I work in this area and have considered buying a home nearby. But the housing prices and loan rates are rising so fast that my salary increases and savings lag far behind."

The Chinese government is stepping up efforts to help people like Yang Meng realize their dream of owning a home. According to the State Council, China is planning to cut tax rates and fees for real estate deals in the near future.

Song Yulan is a real estate agent and she doesn't think the government move will be much help to buyers.

Song Yulan said, "Some housing prices have started falling in the fourth quarter. But the price level remains very high. So the reduction of taxes will not be that helpful as it is calculated based on housing prices."

According to statistics from the Beijing Housing Trading Administration, real estate transactions dropped by 34% this August compared with the same period last year. Sellers are holding firm on prices while buyers are waiting for the market to cool down even more.

CCTV reporter Liu Ming said, "This is an upscale area in the Beijing CBD where housing prices had risen to lofty heights. But the reality of a cooling property market has hit homes here too. Take the apartments over there, some prices have been reduced from over 30,000 yuan per square meter early this year -- to about 20,000 yuan now. And many people are waiting to see if lower prices and recent revisions in government policy will be enough to warm up a stagnant market."