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China’s property market to remain steady, healthy

Updated: Mar 15,2016 1:50 PM     Xinhua

Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development Chen Zhenggao answers questions at a press conference on rebuilding shantytowns and real estate development on the sidelines of the fourth session of the 12th National People’s Congress in Beijing, capital of China, March 15, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING — China’s property market will continue to experience steady and healthy development thanks to sound economic fundamentals and enormous housing demand, an official said on March 15.

“I am confident in the development of the sector,” Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development Chen Zhenggao told a press conference on the sidelines of the annual parliamentary session. He cited several favorable factors including stable economic growth, the rapid pace of urbanization and huge demand from the urban population.

China’s property market has shown signs of warming since the middle of last year, reversing the 2014 downturn, but new problems are emerging, including soaring prices in metropolises and an inventory backlog in medium and small-sized cities.

There were 739 million square meters of unsold homes by the end of February this year, up 15.7 percent year-on-year.

To address the issue, policymakers identified the reduction of housing inventory as one of the top priorities for this year, and announced a slew of measures, such as reduced levies and lower deposits.

Responding to a question on home purchases by migrant workers, Chen said favorable measures would be rolled out to help them buy homes, find jobs and settle down in cities.

Agricultural Bank of China issued loans worth 17 billion yuan ($2.5 billion) in January to home-buying migrant workers, Chen said.