During the past weekend, Liu Xin, a 29-year-old company executive in Shanghai, was busy with contacting a number of real estate agents in the city before he finally made up his mind.
With the signed contract in his hands, he can eventually be away with the question that kept haunting on his mind in the past several months -- how firm is the government’s stance on the property price control?
But for those wait-and-see buyers around China, the question is still their major concern.
China started adopting measures to rein in the real estate market in 2010, introducing tightened credit, a third-home purchase ban, higher down payments and property tax trials.
As a result of the efforts, prices have seen slower growth. Since August of 2011, however, intermittent easing policies have been seen in 17 cities in China, as the local governments were facing the soaring debt payment pressure.
The property market became warming up again in some cities. In Beijing and Shanghai, the apartment transactions rose nearly 30 percent week-on-week during February 23 to 27, according to the local industry watchers.
The markets booming made the potential buyers tense again for recalling the price bottom in late 2009 and early 2010, despite the experts suggested the warming up will not last too long this time.
Cai Jiming, director of Tsinghua University's Political Economy Research Center and also a member of National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, warned that it might result in the policy-loosening in larger areas if the local governments continue easing their policies.
As the policy-loosening worries mounted, China's officials recently reiterated the country's commitment to bringing housing prices back down to reasonable levels.
Wang Juelin, vice director of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development's policy research center, said the tightening policies will stay in place for 2012.
He said if local governments continue to act against the tightening policies, there is a possibility that relevant departments will come up with harsher regulations.
And on the local side, the Shanghai government weeks ago denied a days-ago announcement which allowed families not registered in the city to buy a second home if they have obtained residence permits within the last three years.
As a strict policy cooling China's runaway market, the home purchase ban on the unregistered families in some cities, however, has worked in blocking the rigid demands and driving the rent higher indirectly, which practically crush the white-collar workers in these cities.
Li Han, a 28-year-old office lady in a public relations firm in Beijing, finally decided to go back to her home town in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province to avoid the increasing living costs.
Sharing a two-bedroom apartment in Beijing with one roommate, she had watched the rent rise from 4,000 yuan each month to 4,600 yuan during the past year, which cost nearly half of her 4,800-yuan monthly salary.
In 2011, the average monthly home rent in Beijing went up 11 percent year-on-year, according to a report released by Homelink Real Estate.
Coordinating with the real estate control policy, China has vowed to build 36 million affordable housing units during the 2011-2015 period to meet the demands of low-income families. In 2011, it started construction on 10 million units.
As one of the major measures to ensure people's livelihood, the affordable housing along with its construction speed, project quality and fairness in distribution are destined to become the public spotlight in the near future.
BEIJING, March 5 (Xinhua) -- China will continue to regulate the real estate market to bring down property prices to a reasonable level, according to a government work report distributed to media before the opening of the annual session of the national legislature.
"We will strictly implement and gradually improve policies and measures for discouraging speculative or investment-driven housing demand, build on progress made in regulating the real estate market," reads the report to be delivered by Premier Wen Jiabao at the Fifth Session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC). Full story
China Focus: Officials reiterate firm stance on property control