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Land prices to rise more slowly in 2008
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Land prices will rise more slowly this year than in 2007 as measures to curb property prices start working, a report from the China Land Surveying and Planning Institute (CLSPI) has forecast.

The CLSPI is a division of the Ministry of Land and Resources.

Land prices in major cities averaged 1,751 yuan (US$249.8) per square meter last year, up 13.37 percent over 2006. That year-on-year growth rate was more than double that recorded in 2006.

Kunming, the capital of southwestern Yunnan Province, saw prices rise fastest – 44.71 percent – followed by the cities of Changchun and Chongqing, where prices rose 39.83 percent and 34.71 percent, respectively.

The State Council, or cabinet, issued a circular on land conservation at the beginning of this year that aimed to improve the efficiency of land use and curb speculation. The government also vowed to increase the supply of affordable housing.

These measures would help stabilize prices, the CLSPI report said.

China plans to allocate more than 70 percent of the land approved for housing construction in 2008 to smaller residential units that will have lower rents or prices. These units are intended for low-income families.

Property prices in major cities rose more slowly in February. Housing prices in 70 cities rose 10.9 percent year-on-year in February, down 0.4 percentage points from the increase in January.

(Xinhua News Agency March 29, 2008)

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