Homepage > News > China > 

Beijing rushes to curb housing bubble

2010-03-19 09:45 BJT

China's authorities, apparently trying to allay rising complaints about housing prices and an urban land selling spree, decided Thursday to close door on State-owned enterprises purchasing land and engaging in property development.

More than 70 State-owned firms are being ordered to unwind their real estate business, once their current development projects are completed, a spokesman from the State Council's State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission told reporters in Beijing.

One day after China's Premier Wen Jiabao vowed at a press conference held upon the closing of the annual National People's Congress on March 14, in the capital city of Beijing, three plots of land earmarked for housing development were auctioned and their prices topped at record highs at the hammer.

The voracious appetite for land in cities like Beijing and Shanghai where housing prices have already soared by strides and are not affordable by most ordinary residents, immediately caused an uproar and fierce criticism on the Internet chat-rooms.

The super-wealthy State-owned enterprises, which are administered by the Beijing Central Government, are blamed for firing up the land acquisition frenzy, which is sure to push up housing prices further.

According to The Beijing News, a local newspaper, the three firms that bid the highest, with an aggregate price tag of 11 billion yuan (US$1.6 billion), are all State-owned large enterprises. One tract of the land, located in Wangjing, northeast the city, sold for 27,000 yuan (US$3,970) per square meter, even higher than the price of finished apartments in the area.