Housing vouchers to boost home market
The introduction of "housing vouchers" for relocation projects in more than a dozen Chinese cities may help boost home transactions in local property markets that have been facing downward pressure since the beginning of the year, industry experts said on Wednesday.
Since March, families in at least 15 cities whose homes were identified as local relocation projects have been made eligible for the housing vouchers, China Business News reported.
The cities include Henan province's Zhengzhou and Xinyang, Sichuan province's Yibin, Zhejiang province's Wenzhou, Jiangsu province's Changshu, Jiangyin and Lishui district of provincial capital Nanjing.
People whose residential properties were expropriated for government-led reconstruction projects will receive housing vouchers and can use them to buy specific apartments within the voucher validity period.
Zhengzhou, capital of Central China's Henan province, made public its provisional implementation measures for reconstruction projects on Monday.
Families involved in the renovation project of shanty towns in the central urban area will be compensated with housing vouchers, which they can use to buy specific apartments designated by the local government.
The adoption of housing vouchers by these cities, though not new, is expected to promote home transactions in local markets.
"The measures are tailored to meet the differentiated requirements of people whose homes were expropriated. Efforts will be made to offer flexibility and personalized services in a way that can boost local home consumption with more effective supply," said Li Yujia, chief researcher at the provincial planning institute's residential policy research center of Guangdong province.
"For example, Zhengzhou's property market is facing multiple negatives, including a downtrend, rising inventories and insufficient demand," said Liang Botao, general manager of the Henan branch of the China Index Academy.
Liang said he expects housing vouchers will help activate the real estate market of Zhengzhou, digest market inventory and boost market confidence.
In 2015, several cities launched similar housing vouchers for urban renovation projects. More cities followed suit in 2016 to destock their housing inventories, according to information in the public domain.
Thanks to the effective policies introduced to stabilize the housing market, daily transaction volume of new commercial residential properties in 100 Chinese cities rose about 20 percent month-on-month in the first 20 days of this month, the Shanghai-based E-house China Research and Development Institution stated in a report.
Its prediction is based on the consistent housing market stabilization policies launched since March, particularly after the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee issued a call for more refined real estate market policies.
With COVID-19 gradually coming under control in Chinese cities, home transactions and market expectations are expected to gradually improve further, the report stated.
On April 29, the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee met in Beijing and stressed efforts to ensure that no systemic risks emerge in the real estate market.