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Beijing mayor vows to contain soaring property prices

Beijing’s mayor has pledged to stop residential property prices in the Chinese capital from rising in 2017 in an attempt to ease concerns over the city’s property bubble.

Home prices in Beijing rose more than 25% in 2016 pricing many would-be homebuyers, including investors, out of the market, and now Mayor Cai Qi wants to do more to stamp out “speculative investment” in property. 

Qi told a government conference last week that he would boost the supply of housing in order to “guarantee that there will be no month-on-month increases in house prices” this year.

The push by China’s policy makers to rein in property bubbles already looks to be getting traction, with home sales volume having already plunged in Beijing and Shanghai along with many smaller cities in recent months, following the introduction of purchase restrictions and tightened mortgage lending in September.

Consequently, residential property price increases in Beijing and other top-tier cities slowed almost to a halt in November, with many analysts forecasting a downturn in 2017 for China’s leading cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou.

Last month, the country’s top economic policy committee declared that “houses are for living in, not for speculating with”.

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