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Vow to cut house prices in Guangzhou
Latest Updated by 2007-03-30 10:17:04
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Claiming that housing is an issue of both social and political significance, Guangzhou Mayor Zhang Guangming has approved a series of property-control measures in an effort to curb rising house prices.

The house price in this southern city has seen a "too rapid" rise since 2004, with the average price of a new apartment hitting a record high in January of 7,524 yuan ($964) per square metre, Zhang said in a recent government work meeting.

"With the introduction of new government measures, we will be able to maintain the price at a rational level to ensure local people, especially those on low and medium incomes, can afford to buy houses," Zhang said.

The new measures include an expansion of land supplies, building affordable homes for people on low incomes, renovating old urban communities, reclaiming unused land, streamlining procedures for housing approval, undertaking a citywide inspection of commercial house projects, and ensuring the timely publication of house prices to the public.

In particular, the city will increase land supplies for real estate use within the next three years, with an annual increase of 5 sq km.

"The government will attach the utmost importance to building so-called 'economical houses' for ordinary people in the years ahead because we have realized that skyrocketing house prices have become a major issue affecting society," Zhang said.

He said the city would spend 1.5 billion yuan ($192 million) building low-cost houses for 5,643 families, each of which currently has a living space of no more than 10 square meters per person.

Zhang said that by 2010, the city plans to build more than 100,000 low-cost houses for 84,600 families on low and medium incomes. The development will cover 8.4 million square meters.

The new plans have been warmly received by residents.

Local man Wen Jianwei, said: "Guangzhou will serve as a good example for other cities in terms of using controlling measures by the government. Also, the mayor will be supported all over the country if he succeeds in bringing down the house price. It will be great accomplishment if the measures work in the coming years."

However, real estate developers estimate that prices will continue to rise this year.

In the city prices will rise by about 12 percent this year, said Li Wenjiang, a local real estate analyst. But that, he said, would be a moderate increase compared with last year, when prices soared 23 percent.

"The government's recent measures are crucial for controling house prices in the long run. With their implementation, the city will see a gradual drop in prices," Li said yesterday in an interview with China Daily.

Editor: Yan

By: Qiu Quanlin Source: China Daily Website
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