More affordable houses needed

(China Daily)
Updated: 2011-01-07 13:55
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Housing prices have been rising rapidly over the past few years. They are so high now that low-income people cannot even think of buying a house. The situation has made it all the more important for authorities to take steps to curb housing prices and build more affordable houses for low-income people, says an article in Shanghai Morning Post. Excerpts:

Some people say young people should not buy a house before marriage to prevent housing prices from shooting up further.

But since China does not have a mature house-leasing market and house-owners can drive away tenants whenever they want to, many people are reluctant to rent a house.

Because governments monopolize land supply they should fulfill their responsibility of building affordable houses for low-income families and help them lead a decent life. Besides, governments at all levels should ensure that enough low-rent houses are available so that families that cannot afford to buy a house can at least rent one and live with dignity.

Governments have not taken enough measures to expedite the construction of low-priced or low-rent houses, which may have helped raise housing prices.

Moreover, if housing prices continue to rise, people may not rent houses and instead make a beeline for banks to get loans to buy one lest they become more expensive in the future.

So, apart from persuading young people not to rush into the housing market and raise the buying frenzy, the governments should also take concrete steps to control housing prices and provide more affordable and low-rent houses.

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