Children play outiside a public housing complex in the Huilongguan community, a northern suburb of Beijing (XINHUA)
Home prices in major Chinese cities have been edging down this year amid the country's toughest-ever purchase restrictions and a tight liquidity environment. The 15 major cities with the "hottest" real estate markets have witnessed month-on-month declines and decelerating year-on-year growth rates. In November, 11 of these cities even saw their new residential house prices drop compared with a year earlier.
Sticking to the principle that "homes are built to be lived in, not for speculation," China has been seeking long-term solutions to the overheated housing market.
On July 20, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, alongside other government departments, together issued a notice saying that measures including increasing rental housing supply and setting up a government-backed home rental service platform would be taken in cities with net population inflows. On August 28, China launched pilot programs in 13 major cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, to build rental housing on rural land, so as to boost the supply of rental housing.
Copyedited by Laurence Coulton
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