China’s Xi calls for wide-ranging measures to regulate hot property market

Apartment blocks are pictured on a hazy day in Wuqing district of Tianjin, China, December 10, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee

President Xi Jinping said China’s approach to regulating its red-hot property market will include financial, fiscal, tax, land, and regulatory measures as Beijing looks to develop a long-term mechanism for an industry prone to speculation.

China’s home prices rose at the fastest pace on record in November. Prices are rising by more than 20 percent annually in many major cities, making housing increasingly unaffordable for the middle class.

“The country should accurately understand the residential feature of housing and form a housing mechanism that serves both purchase and rental purposes and meets housing demands of a new urban population,” Xi said on Wednesday, according to comments carried on state media Xinhua after a meeting in Beijing.

China will strictly limit credit flowing into property speculation in 2017 and restrain property bubbles and prevent price volatility, the country’s top leaders said at a key economic meeting last week.

The government has highlighted the need for a well-developed rental market as people are priced out of owning a home.

China has for years mulled an annual property tax, though little progress has been made since a limited tax was implemented in Shanghai and Chongqing in 2011. In November the finance minister at the time said China was actively pushing forward reforms on property taxes.

Xi said the market will play the leading role in meeting varied housing demand, while the government will satisfy basic housing demand.

[Source:- Reuters]