Reforms Boost Housing Sector

China's housing industry is currently at a crucial stage in its development as it goes through fundemental changes, a senior construction official said in Beijing. Addressing the Fifth Annual Conference of the Asian Real Estate Society, vice-minister of Construction, Song Chunhua, said China's housing industry had grown rapidly in the past three years. "Encouraged by the central government's decision to support the housing sector, China built more than 400 million square metres of housing each year of the past three years,'' he said.

A new policy of selling houses instead of allocating them as a welfare benefit is being carried out nationwide and has proved a success. In most provinces, autonomous regions and cities, about 60 per cent of all public housing was sold to individuals, with that figure more than 80 percent in some areas, Song said. Meanwhile, about 84 per cent of commercial housing sold in towns and cities across the country was bought by individuals, and the proportion reached 90 per cent in areas where real estate markets are more developed.

The country also increased the opening up of the market for houses which have not been newly built, he said. To stimulate the house building industry, the government announced a series of policies on land transfer, taxes and fees, and house prices. Commercial banks also expanded their mortgage businesses to help more residents buy their own homes, he said. According to Song, the Ministry of Construction has been paying particular attention to the quality of new homes and modernizing them. This has been done because in the future urban people will not only need larger homes, but also ones that are high-quality and environmentally friendly.

(China Daily)

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