December 24, 2018 / 7:17 AM / a month ago

China aims to steady home prices in 2019, boost rental supply

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s housing authorities have pledged to stabilise land and home prices in 2019 and ramp up the supply of rental housing to tackle home-affordability issues, state television reported.

A man cleans the glass roof at an apartment block in Beijing, China June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee

Following a furious boom, China since mid-2016 has gradually tightened regulatory control over its massive property market. But home prices have continued to go up, even as economic growth slows, and managing risks stemming from the sector remains a priority.

“We will unswervingly resolve property market risks,” the housing ministry said after a work meeting, CCTV reported.

The ministry said while it will curb speculation in the property market, in efforts to maintain continuity and stability of housing policies it will also support “reasonable” housing demand that’s non-speculative.

China has followed a dual-track in trying to manage property prices, with controls imposed in bigger cities and destocking measures pursued in smaller ones.

CCTV said the ministry will “adhere to a city-based regulatory approach” in giving guidance and “reinforce regulatory responsibility at the city level”.

The ministry said it will prioritize affordability by guiding medium- to big cities to increase supply of public rental housing in the next year.

It will push ahead a multi-year shanty-town redevelopment programme that has torn down tens of millions of cramp homes across the country, CCTV added.

Beijing’s support for increased rental housing supply boosted shares of firms linked to the activity.

Shenzhen Worldunion Properties Consultancy Inc (002285.SZ) on Monday surged by the daily limit of 10 percent and Beijing-based 5I5J Holding (000560.SZ) gained 4.6 percent.

Reporting by Yawen Chen, Lusha Zhang and Ryan Woo; Editing by Richard Borsuk

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