China denies to release rural land to curb soaring housing prices

08:09, November 25, 2009      

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A land planning official of China Tuesday denied reports that claimed the country was going to release rural land into market to ease land shortage and curb the steep hike in housing prices.

"There is a misinterpretation by some media, which has translated a pilot program of a province into the central government's decision to release rural land into market and tame home prices," Long Bing, an official with the Ministry of Land and Resources, told Xinhua.

The rumor came after eastern China's Zhejiang Province said Thursday on its official website that it was going to pilot the circulation of land-using rights of collectively-owned rural land from Jan. 1 next year.

The plan of Zhejiang was still waiting for regulatory approval, Long said.

However, if the plan was approved, the rural land would mainly be used to develop township enterprises and cannot be used to develop commercial apartments, he said.

Property prices in China's 70 major cities rose 3.9 percent in October from a year earlier and 0.7 percent from September, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

Source: Xinhua
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