People from other parts of the country who work and live in Shanghai will still be able to buy homes in the city, the Shanghai Housing and Land Resources Administration Bureau said yesterday, clarifying media speculation that those without temporary residence permits might encounter policy barriers.
"We are implementing all the guidelines set by the central government and sparing no effort fostering a healthy and regulated housing market. House buying needs will be further adjusted and rational home purchase plans will be supported," the bureau said.
In an earlier document, the bureau said it might join forces with local development and reform and public security departments to draft certain home-buying policies in which temporary residence permits will be considered a major concern.
The statement triggered massive public concern that those without temporary residence permits would no longer be able to buy a house in Shanghai.
"It is impossible that Chinese people from other parts of the country will be banned from buying houses in Shanghai in the future," said an industry expert who declined to be identified.
"In my opinion, the government's plan to work out such policies, though still without a timetable, will mainly aim to curb cross-border, speculative property investments, not reasonable housing purchases by people from other parts of the country," the source added.
Shanghai's housing market has been long plagued by some cross-border property speculators, mainly from Wenzhou of Zhejiang Province and from Shanxi Province, industry people said. Some individuals bought dozens of apartments in a single residential development. Such a move allows them to monopolize prices at particular projects and even neighboring areas in some cases.
Presently, people from other parts of the country who intend to live or work in the city for a long period need to apply for a temporary residence permit. This gives an individual access to educational, social and employment benefits.
There are various types of temporary residence permits that are valid for different lengths of time.
(Shanghai Daily January 4, 2008)