China will press ahead with the development of a long-term rental market and implement more measures to stabilize housing prices, Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development Wang Menghui said on Monday.
"The property market has remained stable, as the price rise has effectively slowed down and the market expectations show positive signs ahead," he said on the sidelines of the ongoing 13th National People's Congress. [Special coverage]
"China will continue its efforts to build an effective price control mechanism to ensure the healthy development of the real estate market," Wang said. "We will encourage the rental market and speed up the transformation of shanty towns."
A total of 51 State-owned leasing companies have been established in 12 trial cities to date, and 30 percent of the new land supply will be allocated for rental housing, as well as housing with shared ownership by 2020, Wang was quoted as saying by the CCTV on Sunday.
Last month a number of major cities in China made progress in developing a long-term rental market. Beijing, for example, will choose houses within one kilometer of bus and tube stations or industrial zones as rental properties to make people's daily commute more convenient, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Planning and Land and Resources said last month.
On Feb 4, Xu Liyi, mayor of Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, said the city will ensure 30 percent of new commercial houses be rental property by the end of this year.
Last month, Wuhan, a city in Central China, said it aimed to create 30,000 rooms of over 1 million square meters for rental purposes by the end of this year.
"The long-term rental market will usher new development in 2018 as the country will continue to support it by issuing favorable policies," said a report on the Chinese rental market in February, released by China Index Academy, one of the country's largest independent property research organizations. "It will also help related companies to grow and push the market forward."
The capital market also responded actively to the country's call to develop the long-term rental market.
Last month, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange approved 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) worth of rental housing through the real estate investment trusts initiated by Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd, a Guangdong-based real estate developer.
It marked the country's first REIT in the rental market and set an example as a financing tool for the companies in the same business, the China Index Academy report said.