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Vice premier urges continuing property controls


08:19, July 02, 2012

BEIJING, July 1 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang has urged continuing curbs on speculative demand in the real estate sector, the latest signal sent by authorities indicating no relax of real estate market controls.

"The control policies on the property market should be stabilized and their achievements should be consolidated," Li said at a recent conference on low-income housing projects.

The supply of commodity houses need to be increased but speculation and investment demand in the market must be curbed, he said.

Meanwhile, Li called for more efforts to carry out the government's ambitious plan of building millions of affordable housing units.

Since 2010, China has implemented a raft of measures to rein in runaway house prices, including restrictions on home buyers, higher down-payments, property tax trials and the construction of low-income housing.

As China's economy slowed, there have been growing concerns that, if China's housing prices fall too much and too soon, it may hurt the country's overall growth.

However, several departments of the central government, including the central bank and the housing regulator, last month dampened expectations for easing property controls by saying their policies on the sector would not change.

During the conference, Li stressed the role of low-income housing projects in "tackling changes in the current external environment, promoting growth and adjusting the economic structure."

He demanded "zero tolerance" of quality problems in affordable housing projects and fair distribution of the houses to ensure they go to low-income families.

China's government has vowed to build 36 million affordable housing units during the 2011-2015 period to meet demand from low-income families. In 2011, it started construction of 10 million units.


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