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Housing eyes stability, growth on policy support

By Wang Ying in Shanghai Source: China Daily Updated: 2022-03-29


A typical workday starts at a construction site in Qingzhou, Shandong province, on Dec 8. China swears by the principle "houses are for living in, not for speculation". [Photo by Wang Jilin/for China Daily] 

Anticipation of such measures appeared to have had a positive impact on homebuyers such as Guo Yuan, 47, who runs her own sports goods business in Shanghai's Pudong New Area but has been longing to buy a home in Zhuhai, Guangdong province.

A single mother, Guo said Zhuhai is a potential ideal destination for those who care for quality living as it boasts a bright economic outlook, year-round balmy weather and outstanding urban environment.

So, Guo went ahead and bought a two-bedroom flat in a newly built estate, hoping her 11-year-old son can complete his education and grow up to eventually work in the city.

Like Guo, Shanghai-based Li Le, 30, an HR professional working with a foreign-funded company, and her husband recently bought a two-bedroom flat with an eye on their daughter's future.

The only difference was the couple had to sell off their larger three-bedroom home in order to be able to afford the smaller flat. Both properties are located in Shanghai's Minhang district. Their new home offers their only daughter a chance to get admission into a fairly good primary school nearby and eventually enroll in a reputable junior middle school.

"For people who can buy a home for living, this year offers a really good timing as the prices have stabilized," said Li.

Agreed Xie Chen, head of research with CBRE China. "The modest lift of restrictions on the real estate sector showed that local governments are taking specialized policies in accordance with their own conditions, and these adjustments are made under the principle that 'houses are for living in, not for speculation'."

Yao Yao, head of research for JLL China, said he expects the measures to have different impacts on each city.

In first-tier and major second-tier cities with strong economic fundamentals, policy adjustments will spur more transactions, given these cities' large populations and resilient housing demand. But the new measures may not be as effective in less populated lower-tier cities without sufficient supporting industries, said Yao.

Similar policies to improve demand and restore market confidence are expected to be announced by more Chinese cities at an accelerated pace in the coming months. In the meantime, prospective homebuyers will likely see home loans become more accessible.

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