China to avoid big fluctuations in property market: minister

Beijing, China. HelloRF Zcool/Shutterstock

The Chinese government will work to prevent big fluctuations in the property market in a bid to uphold Beijing’s overarching policy that “houses are for living, not for speculation”, Reuters reported.

“We will keep property policymaking persistent and stable, and avoid the situation where prices would rise or fall sharply,” Housing Minister Wang Menghui said today on the sidelines of the annual parliament meeting in Beijing.

He also said the government will carry out objectives to develop the rental housing market, thereby addressing the structural imbalance in the residential market.

Mainland China has undergone through three years of property curbs designed to quell flipping and other speculative activities, which have fueled residential price rises in tier-one cities like Shanghai.

Smaller cities have been relaxing curbs over recent months though. Speculation that more cities will loosen property curbs have spiked since a report by Premier Li Keqiang failed to mention “houses are for living, not for speculation.”

In addition, China has moderated its economic growth target this year to anywhere between 6 percent and 6.5 percent, adding to concerns that Beijing will eventually grow lax on cooling measures.

Growth in Chinese home prices eased to a nine-month low in January, although analysts said underlying demand still appeared to be healthy with annual growth at 10 percent, Reuters noted.