(Yicai Global) Feb. 23 -- China has the capacity and methods to stabilise its property market, the housing minister said, adding that real estate prices will remain stable in the first quarter.
"We'll strive to promote the steady and healthy development of the real estate market in 2017," Chen Zhenggao, head of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, said at a press briefing today. "We'll curb overheated housing markets in hot cities and constrain real estate bubbles to prevent sharp fluctuations."
The country's real estate market has stabilized significantly due to the implementation of regulatory policies, figures released yesterday by the National Bureau of Statistics show. New-build homes in first- and second-tier cities saw no month-on-month price increase in January. Prices were stable in Beijing, while those in Shanghai dropped slightly. They also remained stable in third-tier cities.
"We'll take a differential approach to regulating the housing market for different places, focusing on resolving the overstock of houses in third- and fourth-tier cities," Chen said.
Last year, the housing ministry "increased efforts to rectify the real estate market and enhance public opinion guidance," Chen said. "With the joint efforts of all related parties, we achieved initial results in market control. For instance, the real estate market expectations in hot cities changed somewhat, and the over-fast upward trend in housing prices was curbed."
"The Central Economic Work Conference [an annual meeting to set the national economic agenda] held last year underlined that it is necessary to adhere to the position that 'the house is for living, not for speculation,'" he said. "Real estate will employ clear financial, land-use, taxation and investment legislative methods and accelerate study fundamental systems and long-acting mechanisms that conform to national conditions and market rules."
Chen believes that establishing fundamental systems and long-acting mechanisms for the property market is of great importance. Firstly, it is conducive to solving the existing real estate contradictions and problems, in particular, to solving deep-seated ones. Secondly, it will help suppress the real estate bubble, prevent ups and downs, and achieve long-term stable and healthy development of real estate. And lastly, it also will help achieve the goal that all residents have access to housing.