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China to continue property controls

Beijing: China's new leadership on Sunday said it would continue the nation's property market control policies next year in order to keep a check on excessive speculation, which in the recent past made housing virtually un-affordable for middle and low income groups.
    
The country will step up the construction and management of low-income housing, as well as the renovation of run-down areas, said a statement issued at the end of two-day central economic work conference conducted by the new leaders here.
    
Stubbornly high real estate prices have been a significant source of public complaint in recent years, forcing the government to implement a string of policies to keep prices down.
    
However, the property market has shown signs of warming in recent months, as the government has also taken measures to shore up growth.
    
Official data showed that more Chinese cities saw home prices rise in October from September, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
    
China's central bank, the People's Bank of China, cut benchmark interest rates twice earlier this year, as well as lowered the amount of cash that banks are required to set aside as reserves, to bolster the slowing economy.
    
Weighed by flagging exports and domestic efforts to curb property market speculation, China's economic growth slowed to 7.4 percent in the third quarter of the year, the lowest growth rate in more than three years.
    
Real estate investment accounts for about 13 percent of China's gross domestic output and one-fifth of the country's fixed-asset investment.
    
China has reiterated its firm stance regarding property market controls and vowed to keep tightening measures in place, including bans on third-home purchases and property tax trials that have been introduced since 2010.

(Agencies)

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