China to Maintain Property Curbs ‘Firmly,’ Premier Wen Says

China will maintain the control measures on the property market “firmly” and seek to “fine tune” its economic policies at an appropriate time, according to a government statement following a State Council meeting chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao today.

Local governments should be responsible and continue to strictly implement the government’s real-estate policies and let the Chinese people see the effects in the coming months, according to the statement. The government said it will “fine tune” the economic policies in “an appropriate degree and appropriate time.”

“Property curbs are at the critical stage now, so the policies shouldn’t and wouldn’t be relaxed, because there has been no concrete data showing home prices are dropping a lot,” said Shen Jian-guang, a Hong Kong-based economist at Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd. “But everything else from money supply to investment has fallen a lot.”

Wen said the government will fine tune its economic policies as needed in a statement on Oct. 26, without elaborating whether that would include the real-estate market. The remarks sparked a biggest weekly gain of Chinese stocks in a year. The government this year increased down-payment requirements and mortgage rates on some homes and issued housing purchase restrictions in about 40 cities.

China’s home prices rose in all but one of 70 cities the government monitors in September from a year earlier, according to the national statistics bureau.

— With assistance by Bonnie Cao

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