From Chinese Press

Transparency in housing needed

Updated: 2011-04-12 09:31

(China Daily)

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By the end of March, many cities had announced the measures they would take to regulate housing prices. But among the three factors that will determine the prices - local economic development level, growth rate of disposable per capita income and providing affordable houses - almost all the cities except Beijing are focusing on the first two. This has made people ask whether the measures are aimed at controlling housing prices or raising them, says an article in Guangzhou Daily. Excerpts:

Related readings:
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As long as local governments depend heavily on land revenues, housing prices will remain high. Even though the price control measures to be taken by cities focus on the ratio of property price to income and providing affordable houses to people - more specifically, ensuring that a middle-class working couple can buy an apartment in seven years - some cities cannot be stopped from playing with figures.

Some city authorities could decide on a housing price-to-annual income ratio of 3:1, though the recognized ration worldwide is from 3:1 to 6:1. They could tabulate figures in way that presents them in a favorable light. Since the income gap among people in different professions is quite huge, they could choose the highest income group to determine the ratio.

And because the income of a large number of people is far below the average, many people would not be able to afford a house even if the ratio is between 3:1 and 6:1

Therefore, the city authorities should be open about the prices of all apartments and villas, their transaction volume, and the income of people in different professions and how they will provide housing to all residents, especially to low- and medium-income groups.



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