Housing eyes stability, growth on policy support
Skyscraper window cleaners clean the exterior of the Guiyang International Trade Center in Guiyang, Guizhou province, on March 15. China will adopt city-specific measures to facilitate sound development of the real estate sector. [Photo/Xinhua]
A host of local-level measures and financial products promise to inject optimism into China's property industry
As of March 8, as many as 52 Chinese cities have announced a range of home market measures. And their numbers are growing. All of them are intent on achieving a singular goal: to stabilize the local-level property market.
This has prompted the hitherto cynical industry experts to express optimism that China's housing market will find stability this year, more so because even the central government has vowed to support the market to better meet the reasonable needs of homebuyers.
Amid all this, consensus on the principle "houses are for living in, not for speculation" has been reinforced. "We will continue to meet people's housing needs," said Premier Li Keqiang in the Government Work Report delivered at the opening meeting of the fifth session of the 13th National People's Congress on March 5.
This year's Government Work Report has emphasized that China will keep land costs, housing prices and market expectations stable, and adopt city-specific measures to facilitate positive circulation and sound development of the real estate sector.
Stable performance without any undue fluctuations－that has been set as a key goal for China's housing market. The task for local governments is to ensure that demand remains firm, with emphasis on rational requirements that can help improve living conditions, said Chen Wenjing, market research director of the China Index Academy's index division.
In fact, in a bid to encourage demand and achieve market stabilization, local governments are aligning themselves with the central government's guidelines to unveil respective measures.
These include lowering the down payment ratio, offering home purchase subsidies and loosening the grip on provident fund loans, said economist Ren Zeping, an online influencer who is the former chief economist of debt-laden property giant Evergrande.
The four first-tier Chinese cities－Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen－maintained almost all existing regulations, except for lowering their home mortgage interest rates in February, following the central bank's cut to the market-based benchmark lending rate.
In contrast, on March 1, Zhengzhou, Henan province, announced a package of measures to stabilize its home market that, along with local enterprises, has been under a lot of pressure due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as floods last year.
Zhengzhou's measures include supporting rational living demand, improving home supply, raising support for mortgage financing, increasing subsidized homes and optimizing the home market environment.