,Rising prices: A farmer tills the soil of a vegetable plot in front of a construction site for a residential development on the outskirts of Shanghai. New home prices in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou rose by 0.5%, month-on-month, in February. — Bloomberg
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SHANGHAI: Shanghai residents who plan to buy new houses need to calculate their scores first and check whether they are eligible for a lottery system. The seemingly complicated rules rolled out in Shanghai recently can effectively ensure houses in this megacity be allocated to families with rigid needs.
Under the principle that housing is for living in, not for speculation, real estate control measures across China are gradually evolving to tackle housing problems in big cities.
In early February, Shanghai started to explore a score-based lottery system for housing sales, firstly satisfying families without housing as buyers far exceed the number of units on sale.
In early March, Shanghai upgraded its control policies to impose a five-year ban on the resale of new houses purchased by residents who enjoy the preferential policy and cap the transfer prices of land for housing development.
“This new scoring system has made us feel more at ease, ” said Zhou Yuanyuan, who has worked in Shanghai for five years after graduation. Zhou and her husband planned to buy a new house in Shanghai but failed to buy one as the earlier lottery system had much more competitors. Now the lottery only allows 1.3 times the potential buyers for the number of houses on sale.
“We are a family with no house in Shanghai and no purchase record in five years. Our score is at around 69, which is quite a competitive score, and now we have a much higher probability of buying a desirable house, ” Zhou said.
Major cities in China, such as Shenzhen, Beijing, and Guangzhou, have also rolled out measures to regulate and control the property market multiple times over the past year.
In February, Shenzhen announced transaction reference prices for resale homes in the city, which are generally lower than the market prices. Many banks extend mortgage loans in line with the reference prices in a bid to cool down the market.
The city has also taken measures to prevent the illegal flow of consumer and business loans into the real estate market to clamp down on excessive market speculation.
Since the beginning of this year, Beijing has vowed to intensify the crackdown on misappropriating loans for housing purchases. Guangzhou has successively introduced several policies, including mortgage rate increases for residents’ first and second houses, to curb speculative demand.
New home prices in four first-tier cities – Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou – rose by 0.5%, month-on-month, in February, following a 0.6% increase registered in January, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics. The resale housing market in first-tier cities saw prices increase by 1.1% month on month in February. It edged down by 0.2 percentage points from January.