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China to continue property controls in 2013


08:26, December 17, 2012

BEIJING, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- China will continue its property market control policies next year, according to a statement issued Sunday after a two-day central economic work conference held in Beijing.

The country will step up the construction and management of low-income housing, as well as the renovation of run-down areas, according to the conference, which charts the course for the following year's economic work.

Stubbornly high real estate prices have been a significant source of public complaint in recent years, forcing the government to implement a string of policies to keep prices down.

However, the property market has shown signs of warming in recent months, as the government has also taken measures to shore up growth.

Official data showed that more Chinese cities saw home prices rise in October from September.

The People's Bank of China, or the central bank, cut benchmark interest rates twice earlier this year, as well as lowered the amount of cash that banks are required to set aside as reserves, to bolster the slowing economy.

Weighed by flagging exports and domestic efforts to curb property market speculation, China's economic growth slowed to 7.4 percent in the third quarter of the year, the lowest growth rate in more than three years.

Real estate investment accounts for about 13 percent of China's gross domestic output and one-fifth of the country's fixed-asset investment.

China has reiterated its firm stance regarding property market controls and vowed to keep tightening measures in place, including bans on third-home purchases and property tax trials that have been introduced since 2010.

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