Chinese property investors are facing a squeeze after a period of rapid house price inflation in the country’s leading cities, the Financial Times reports. Top policymakers announced in December that “houses are for living in, not for speculating with.” The commonly held view of housing as an essential investment has helped house prices in big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai to rise by 20-30% last year, but the rise has been brought to a halt. More than 20 city governments have raised the minimum deposit required for taking out a mortgage and made it more difficult to buy extra homes. The latest official data show that in January, prices for newly built housing sold on the commercial market, excluding government-subsidized housing, stayed largely flat from the previous month. Prices in Shenzhen and Shanghai even came down by a fraction of a percentage point.
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