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President Xi says China should deflate property bubbles

by Jonathan Adams

President Mr Xi Jinping said China should deflate property bubbles and regulate the market for rental housing to better meet people’s residential needs, reinforcing the objectives outlined last week at an annual gathering of the country’s top economic leaders.

“The country should accurately understand the residential feature of housing” and create a better system for purchases and rentals to better serve new urban populations, Mr Xi said Wednesday at a meeting of the Central Leading Group on Finance and Economic Affairs, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. “The market will play the leading role in catering to multi-layered demand, while the government will take care of basic housing demand.”

China will take a “varied approach to regulating the property market” and use an array of measures from financial and fiscal to land and taxes to better serve people’s needs, Mr Xi said, echoing pledges last week by top leaders at the annual Central Economic Work Conference.

Policy makers led by Mr Xi said Friday they plan a prudent and neutral monetary policy next year, and that preventing and controlling financial risk to avoid asset bubbles will be a priority. “Houses are built to be inhabited, not for speculation,” the post-meeting statement said.

The overheated property market continued cooling in November as authorities rolled out renewed home-buying curbs. New-home prices, excluding government-subsidized housing, gained from the previous month in 55 of the 70 cities tracked by the government, compared with 62 in October, the National Bureau of Statistics said Monday.

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