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Top political meetings focus on housing market
Last Updated: 2014-03-07 09:16 | CE.cn
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By Li Hongmei

The housing market has become a hot topic of discussion among delegates at the annual sessions of the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, which opened on March 3, the China News Service reports.

Issues including housing policy, the ups and downs in housing prices and houses with limited property rights are expected to become the focus of public attention, according to the report.

Over the past year, property prices have experienced a new round of increases. Housing prices in the country's 100 biggest cities rose for 21 consecutive months. After house prices in some cities such as Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province, registered a massive slide at the beginning of this year, however, rumors about a housing market collapse became rife.

Asked by reporters whether the government will adjust its housing policy in 2014 and whether housing prices can be controlled or will continue to spike, Jiang Weixin, minister of housing and urban-rural development, did not respond directly but spoke about the concept of two-way controls for the property market, though he did not expound on the policy.

Industry analyst Xie Yifeng said the policy might aim to use affordable home units provided by the government to rein in skyrocketing property prices. Hu Jinghui, another industry expert, took the view that two-way housing market controls could be long-term or short-term. They could be imposed in controlling supply or demand, based on protection and market-based mechanisms, he said, adding that these controls could also be implemented in different types of cities and through adjusting the inventory of housing units.

Jiang said at a task conference of the ministry in late 2013, however, that its 2014 the goals would be strengthening the regulation and monitoring of the property market.

Zhang Hongwei, a market researcher, said the main point of the two-way property market control concept was curbing speculative demand for investment in hot markets and relaxing controls in slow markets.

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