Worldwide housing policies at glance

14:02, May 10, 2010      

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An ancient Chinese saying "to live and work in peace and contentment" demonstrates the importance of housing to ordinary Chinese people. What role will the government and law play when solving the problems of supply and demand in the housing market? What will the policies lead to?

United States – Government helps realize the "American Dream"

U.S. historian James Truslow Adams invented the term "American Dream" in 1931. He used the phrase to embody the idea that apart from material prosperity, everyone should have a home or at least a place to live in.

As a certain investment company pointed out, there are some 130.6 million apartments in the U.S., of which 36.7 million are in the rental market and 18.9 million are on idle stock. However the problem is that the idle housing stock can only be occupied through the creation of more jobs. Otherwise new housing projects will be postponed and expansion of employment affected.

Egypt – Consumption falls under influence of policy

The Egyptian government calls on consumer to buy small-unit housing through mass media. For instance, Al Ahram interviewed some of the young people who had brought small-unit houses and collected their experience and feelings on decorating and their life in the houses, and published the feature. Some reader posted comments online saying small-unit houses made them feel cozier. It will be a good choice for young couples, they said.

There are only ten banks that can handle housings loan in Egypt, which puts a check on the overheated real estate market. The Egyptian government has decided to lower the mortgage rate to enhance credit for consumers on housing mortgage.

Germany - Civil Code protects renters

Laws in Germany, particular the Civil Code, have strong and strict regulations and control on house rent prices, focusing more on the interests of lodgers by prohibiting frequent rent increases by the landlord. For example the house owner must provide a written statement to raise rents and three similar cases. Otherwise, the owner will face prosecution.

The landlord may require the lodger to accept an increase to the rent level customary in a given area, provided that the last increase took place at lease 15 months prior to the date when the increase is to take place. As a general rule, this type of rent increase must be limited within 10 percent.

Germans place more importance on quality than size. For them, a 70-square-meter house will meet their demand and a 150-square-meter house would be considered luxury.

By People's Daily Online

(Editor:张心意)

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