[photopress:Chinaapartments500_1.jpg,full,alignright]The Ministry of Construction has abolished a proposal regarding the size of new apartments, saying the plan is not in accordance with a directive from the State Council.
According to policies introduced in June last year all local governments were required to make sure 70 percent of units newly built were not larger than 90 square meters. The idea was to raise the supply of more small- and medium-size homes and discourage building of luxury houses.
Now a proposal published on the ministry’s Website on indicates local governments can adjust the size according to local conditions such as the weather and height of buildings.
Nie Meisheng, director of the real estate sector of the Federation of Industry and Commerce, said it was inappropriate to set a fixed percentage to reflect market demand.
Yin Kunhua, a professor at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, also thinks the 90 square meter may be appropriate for second and third tier cities but is too small for big affluent cities such as Shanghai and Beijing.
Michael Hart, managing director of Jones Lang LaSalle Tianjin, said for a family of three, even a 120 square meter apartment is hardly luxurious.
Real estate agents said the flat-size guidelines seem to be inadequate nationwide because some local authorities did not strictly follow the policy. Clement Luk, director and deputy general manager of Centaline (China) Property Consultants, said, ‘Amid a lower demand for small flats in some cities where people get used to living in larger apartments, the regulations may hamper developers’ desire to buy land. Once the regulations are eased, developers will be more flexible over the design of flat sizes in projects based on market demand.’
He said that easing the flat-size rules would help balance supply and stabilize home prices nationwide.
Sources: Shanghai Daily and The Standard
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