Li on real estate industry

2015-03-15 06:36:41 GMT2015-03-15 14:36:41(Beijing Time)  China Daily

Q: I am with The Financial Times. Last year, China's real estate market has been on the decline. This has prompted a large number of Chinese nationals to start buying homes overseas. Currently, Chinese customers have become the largest group of homebuyers in New York, Sydney and London and this has significantly driven up the local home prices. Hence some people have called into question the legitimacy of the money spent on buying these homes overseas from China. Are you concerned about the possible backlash to such massive home buying by Chinese overseas? And will the Chinese government introduce new policy measures to boost the domestic real estate market this year?

A: China is advancing the full convertibility of renminbi under the capital account. It shows that China is taking further steps to open up the capital market. You talked about the phenomenon of large number of Chinese buying homes overseas and said that they have become the largest home buyers in a number of key international metropolises. I suppose that more evaluations need to be done here as to whether that is true. And as far as I'm concerned, I am not in possession of solid information about this. But what I know is that China is still the largest destination of the inflow of foreign direct investment and the number now stands at $120 billion. As the same time, the Chinese government will also encourage Chinese companies and Chinese nationals to go overseas, to make investment, and do business. In doing so, these Chinese companies and Chinese nationals need to abide by China's relevant laws and regulations and also observe the local laws.

You have a Westerner's face but you speak Chinese so well. I wonder if you have bought home in China but you are welcome to do so.

China is still a large developing country. Housing is not just an economic issue but also one that concerns people's livelihood. The Chinese government needs to meet the basic housing needs of the low-income people in China. And the government will take more steps this year to rebuild urban rundown areas and the dilapidated homes in urban and rural areas. The plan for such efforts this year is to increase such the building and rebuilding rundown areas and dilapidated homes by 1 million units each. The Chinese government has the responsibility to provide for the daily necessity in terms of housing for our people.

The real estate market is governed by its own laws. China is such a large country with vast land that expands. There are mega cities and medium and small-size cities as well as small townships in this country. And the conditions of these different cities and townships vary significantly from one to another. Hence the central government has required the local governments enhance their responsibility to exercise their regulation of their local real estate markets. And differentiated policies need to be adopted in the light of local conditions. As the same time, urbanization is still picking up speed in China hence the housing demand in China is here to stay. We also encourage Chinese people to buy homes for their personal use or their second home. We hope to see there will be steady and sound growth of China's real estate markets in the long run.

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