Updated: 2013-07-23 07:31

(China Daily)

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Housing challenge for authorities

Comment on "China's home prices continue to rise" (China Daily, July 18)

A majority of the people find it difficult to purchase a house, especially in big cities. Since land and real estate are still the main sources of many local governments' revenue, it is not surprising to see housing prices increasing continuously. What is disappointing, though, is that measures taken by the central and local governments to curb housing prices have had little effect.

Many experts say that people should change their traditional mindset that without owning a house a person cannot have a home. Admittedly, Chinese people are keener than their counterparts in some other countries, especially Western countries, to buy a house.

But to change Chinese people's traditional concept about home, the authorities have to implement stricter measures to improve social security, particularly rental housing. House rents have increased in tandem with rising housing prices, making it even more difficult for people to rent a house, especially in big cities.

Besides, public rental housing and availability of low-income houses are in short supply. The result: renting a house has become as unaffordable as buying one in big cities. The challenge for the authorities is to create an environment where people could at least rent a house, if not buy one, at an affordable rate.

Barbara Wu, via e-mail

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(China Daily USA 07/23/2013 page12)