A saleswoman (center) talks with customers at a real estate sales office in Huai'an, Jiangsu Province. (Photo/ China News Service)
On Aug. 17, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development talked with the leaders of five municipal governments, urging them to strengthen their macro control over the local housing market. China Youth Daily comments:
The ministry's meeting with the five local leaders sent the unmistakable message that the central leadership is determined to control the real estate market, prevent housing prices from rising too abruptly, and ensure that houses are for living in, not for speculation.
The real estate market has long been used as an important tool for local economic growth in China, and local governments tend to relax their housing policies when economic growth slows.
This year, as certain regions face difficulties in economic growth, many worry they might do so again. Especially since the prices of newly constructed houses in 65 cities rose last month, according to the most recent survey by National Bureau of Statistics, which has deepened that worry.
The recent moves of housing departments, central and local, prove that worry is unnecessary. Too heavy reliance upon the realty sector in boosting local economies has already brought about so many problems that it must be given up.
Fortunately, many local governments have been paying attention to the recent rises in realty prices. More than 60 cities nationwide have taken various real estate policies in June, which include loan limits and purchasing limits. It is evident that local governments are taking the issue seriously.
Strengthening government control over the realty market will help the market grow healthily in the long run, and better meet the demands of residents. It is to be hoped that local governments will speed up the building of a comprehensive housing system that can meet the demands of all.