Housing proves hot button issue (2)

10:37, March 14, 2010      

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Though this reform allowed a great many Chinese people to own their own homes, growing numbers are unhappy with the soaring real estate prices that it has also brought about.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, property prices in China's 70 major cities grew 10.7 percent in February, the highest pace for 23 months.

For people on average incomes in Beijing and Shanghai, a regular two-bedroom apartment may cost them 20 to 30 years' income, far higher than the international average of six years.

CPPCC member Chi Susheng, a lawyer based in Heilongjiang province, says that a fully market-based housing sector is not feasible at the moment.

In fact, excessively high property prices have not only resulted in distortions in the real estate market but also loomed large as a major problem hindering the country's sustainable development and economic security.

A new housing policy attaching greater importance to low- and middle-income families is essential, Chi said.
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