The message is clear from Central Economic Work Conference on December 16, China will continue its property market control policies next year.
Housing prices are climbing up again. According to the China Index Academy, new home prices in major cities have risen for six straight months since June. Just over the weekend, the government made a promise to continue policies to control the property market next year.
Zhao Qingming, economist in China Construction Bank, said, "Controls on speculative estate investment won't be loosened. At the same time we'll see more actions stepping up the construction and management of the housing for low-income groups."
China has repeatedly reiterated its firm stance on property market control, and committed to measures such as higher down payments, bans on third-home purchases and property tax trials. But despite the restrictive measures and this year's grim economic conditions, the overall property market is showing signs of picking-up.
The upturn came after the central bank twice cut interest rates, as well as eased banks' reserve requirements earlier this year. Some observers say these macro-control policies have worked, but not yet achieved optimal results. Opinions are split as to whether control policies will be strict or mild going into next year.
Zhao also said, "Some analysts believe the government is unlikely to impose new tightening restrictions, because a further cut back in property investment would also weigh on an already slowing economy. But in my opinion, at the least the current regulatory measures won't be loosened. The signal has been clear since the 18th CPC National Congress, that growth speed is no longer the focus. We'll likely see the full introduction of property tax next year, which will reduce speculative housing demands, and further stabilize market prices."
A report by Chinese academy of social sciences this month, predict housing prices in most Chinese cities will continue to increase in the fourth quarter of this year and into the next. This would put more pressure on the government to produce soothing policies.(CNTV.cn December 18, 2012)