Start with a widely accepted fact. The rise and rise of the price of houses is preventing the poor, and the not-so-po0r from owning their own home.
One economist believes the government doesn’t need to help them buy one. Xia Yueliang, seen in our illustration, a professor of economics at Peking University, said: ‘The government is not obliged or liable to help low- and middle-income Chinese families own their own house, such as affordable houses because there is low-rent housing as well.’
Xia likened home ownership to gourmet food, saying the government will prevent the poor from starving to death but is not responsible to feed them well. Housing prices, indeed, have become a ‘big headache’ for the government to ease despite repeated measures to cool the property market down.
There are concerns as to whether the government’s measures can even now slow down real estate prices, which experts warn of a possible overheating.
Current real estate prices soaring to over RMB8,000 ($1,036) per square meter on average from some RMB6,000 in 2004, a jump of nearly 50% in four years. The average monthly wage of a Beijing resident is about RMB3,000. Work for two and a half months and live on air and nothing else and you will be able to afford a square meter of housing. Or accept the fact you will never be able to own a house.
A report filed by the Chinese Academy of Social Science (CASS) said because of the fast-growing demands for property in Beijing, the price of housing prices will keep increasing well after the 2008 Olympics. As Xia Yueliang said, this is not the government’s problem. Let them eat cake.
Source: China Daily
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