China is expected to adopt new housing policies by
the end of the month to favour middle- and low-income urban residents,
officials and insiders said over the weekend.
One important adjustment is to divide current affordable apartments
into two types: those for sale and those for rent. This will create the
backbone of the nation's housing guarantee system in the future, said an
official with the Ministry of Construction.
Different from past policies, cities will be encouraged to construct
and lease out "low-cost houses" for minimum
earners, officials said. Moreover, local governments will
provide certain allowances for these tenants on rental fees.
The remarks were the latest steps in regulating the real estate market.
On May 29, nine cabinet departments jointly issued an announcement to
curb the property price hikes in many cities, reports said.
"Cities at all levels must work out concrete plans on housing
construction before the end of September," it said.
"Because China is a populous nation, it is unrealistic to help each
person purchase an apartment of his/her own," said Fang Mingli, a real
estate entrepreneur in Beijing.
By building low-cost houses, the nation will handle the problem of the
large-number of urban people who cannot afford to buy a new house, he
One controversial issue for real estate
developers and insiders is that small apartments no bigger
than 90 square metres must now account for 70 per cent of new homes being
"Low-priced apartments are welcomed by the mass of people who
participate in the distribution of social resources by purchasing new
houses," said Meng Xiaosu, who is chairman of China Real Estate
Development (Group). But "the small size is just the eye-catching part of
Nowadays, the proportion of investment into economically affordable housing only
accounts for 5 per cent of the total, which is far short of the increasing
demand for new houses from middle- and low-income families, Meng said.
"The ideal proportion of economically affordable apartments in China's
real estate market should surpass 30 per cent," he suggested.
By Jiang Zhuqing (China Daily)