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China's premier says cities pressured by rising prices need to boost land supply
March 5, 2017 / 3:43 AM / 9 months ago

China's premier says cities pressured by rising prices need to boost land supply

BEIJING, March 5 (Reuters) - Chinese cities under pressure from soaring home prices need to boost land supply appropriately while authorities take targeted measures to fight an inventory overhang in smaller cities, Premier Li Keqiang said.

China is looking to keep the property market stable this year after prices of new homes soared 12.4 percent last year, the most since 2011. Local authorities in more than 20 cities have introduced curbs to cool the market since October.

“We need to be clear that housing is for people to live in,” Li said in its work report at the opening of the annual meeting of parliament on Sunday.

He pledged to establish long-term mechanisms for promoting the steady and sound development of the sector, and take more category-based and targeted measures to regulate the market.

The government has no plans to implement a nationwide property tax this year, Fu Ying, spokeswoman for China’s parliament, said on Saturday.

China has for years considered an annual property tax, which could deter speculation in real estate, though little progress has been made due to resistance from stakeholders, such as local governments who heavily rely on land sales for revenue.

Li also said on Sunday that China would take steps to cut excessive real estate inventory in the third- and fourth-tier cities, adding that the government supports migrant workers in buying urban homes.

More broadly, Li said the government would help a number of counties and very large towns develop into cities, and help clusters of cities to better drive development of their adjacent regions. (Reporting by Ryan Woo; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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