A joint statement by the ministries of finance and housing, the central bank and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) called for affordable housing for "ordinary people" and urged developers to reduce prices, the Wall Street Journal reported. "The key to revitalizing the real-estate market is to set reasonable prices," the statement said. Officials also announced that Beijing will build more subsidized and affordable housing. A weakening property market – housing sales were down 20.6% in the first 11 months of 2008 compared to the previous year – has been a key part of a wider economic slowdown. However, neither the statement nor a government news briefing discussed specific steps to boost sales.
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