BEIJING Jan 13 China's policy fine-tuning and
ongoing urbanisation can help it to avoid a Japan-style property
bubble, a senior housing official said, amid fears a housing
market crash could lead to a hard landing for the world's
Beijing has allowed local governments to take differentiated
property tightening measures, rather than a one-size-fits-all
bid to cool the market, Vice Housing Minister Qiu Baoxing said
in remarks published in the Southern Metropolis Daily.
He said Japan's property bubble burst in the 1980s, when the
country's urbanisation was near an end and it could not generate
fresh drivers to keep the market afloat.
"China is some time away from reaching that point. If we
understand the issue and adopt fine-tuning policies, things
could be turned around," Qiu was quoted as saying.
China's housing prices in November soared 9.9 percent from a
year earlier - the quickest annual pace on record, according to
Reuters calculations based on official data, but signs have
emerged that the government's four-year effort to cool the
market may be starting to bear fruit.
Such fast gains have stirred strong debate on whether there
is a bubble in China's real estate market and when it will
burst, which could lead the economy to a hard landing.
China's housing minister said in December that China would
maintain controls on its property market in 2014 while
increasing land and housing supply in cities facing big
China's central government did not introduce any nationwide
property curbs since the new leadership formally took office in
March 2013, but local authorities in some areas have taken
targeted steps to try to cool prices, including raising minimum
downpayments for second homes and promising more land for
Those measures have started to bite, with official figures
showing monthly property price gains in November were the
slowest this year, pointing to a moderation in rises in the
But ordinary Chinese in most cities still face home prices
that are well beyond their reach as the unrelenting rise has
been buoyed by a view that property remains one of the best
(Reporting By Xiaoyi Shao and Kevin Yao; Editing by Jacqueline