NBS: China's commercial housing on sale totals 192 sq. km

13:08, August 05, 2010      

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Total commercial residential housing for sale in China reached nearly 192 square kilometers as of the end of June, a 6.4 percent increase over the same period last year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Aug. 4, 2010.

Statistics show that total commercial housing for sale started growing in 2005. The year-on-year growth rate that year was 2.7 percent. After dropping 0.9 percent in 2006 and 7.5 percent in 2007, 2008 witnessed a record increase of 38.3 percent and in 2009 the market continued to grow by 7.1 percent.

However, the bureau did not release the figure on vacant housing.

More than 560 square kilometers of land were on offer for residential use across the country in the first six months of the year, up 135 percent year on year, as authorities stepped up efforts to curb an excessive increase in housing prices while developing government-subsidized housing.

NBS experts explained that commercial housing for sale does not equal vacant houses. Area of commercial housing for sale is defined as commercial housing that has completed development but has not yet been sold or rented in the reporting period, and housing vacancy means the house has been sold but is unoccupied.

The supply is far less than the market demand, and the price drop is not so satisfying, Wang Juelin, deputy director and a research fellow of the Chinese Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development's Policy Research Centre, said.

He said the regulations on real estate have been in effect for 100 days. While the regulation focuses on curbing soaring housing prices, China still needs comprehensive management of the housing market. Rather than simply controlling housing prices, China must create a better system and solve supply problems, Wang said.

Wang believes that housing prices are the best standard by which to judge the effect of controls. He said it is impossible to stabilize the housing price by policy alone. With such a short supply, any price reduction would be small.

He said Beijing needs to quickly increase the supply. Currently, Beijing has more than 90,000 residential units for sale, and he thinks this amount is still very small.

By Huang Beibei, People's Daily Online


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