【英语中国】中国政府对房价动真格

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所属分类:双语中国

2011-8-27 03:07

小艾摘要: With inflation stubbornly high and the government trying to work down its debts, China cannot afford another superhero stimulus like the Rmb4,000bn package that helped rescue the world from despair in ...
With inflation stubbornly high and the government trying to work down its debts, China cannot afford another superhero stimulus like the Rmb4,000bn package that helped rescue the world from despair in 2008.

Instead Beijing is showing unexpected resolve in its campaign to cool the once-sizzling property market, (potentially) China’s economic kryptonite.

The importance of the Chinese property sector cannot be overstated. Property construction directly accounts for nearly 15 per cent of China’s gross domestic product and drives its demand for commodities, especially iron ore and copper. Jonathan Anderson, an economist with UBS, has called Chinese property “the single most important sector in the entire global economy”.

With the real estate market looking bubbly early last year, the government introduced a series of policies to rein in prices, from higher mortgage rates to restrictions on the numbers of homes people can buy.

There are signs that these measures are finally starting to bite – at just the time that the United States and Europe are on the brink of a double-dip recession.

Chinese property price increases have all but stalled in month-on-month terms and many analysts think the market is at a tipping point. With huge and rising unsold inventories, housing prices in major cities should register outright declines in the coming months, further denting construction activity and broader economic growth.

Hence the big question for China and the world. Will Beijing take fright at the global troubles and relax its grip on the property market? Evidence this week suggests not.

China Securities Journal, an official newspaper, reported on Tuesday that the government will expand restrictions on home purchases by the end of August, implementing them in about 30 new cities.

Then, in a meeting of the Politburo, the Communist Party’s top decision-making body, President Hu Jintao said that, despite China’s agricultural outsourcing, more must be done to protect arable land from being swallowed up by construction projects – a signal to slow down, not speed up, development.

Beijing, it seems, has learned its lesson from 2008. Housing prices soared days after it eased its property clampdown at the time. Along with being disruptive to the economy, the stop-and-start policies undermined the government’s credibility in the real estate market.

This time around, Beijing is regaining credibility by staying the course on property tightening. That will be a good thing for China’s property market in the long term. While bad news for the global economy, that China won’t unveil a new stimulus is already the dominant market view.

But for countries and investors hoping for a short-term boost from Chinese demand, it is one more reason to be worried.

鉴于通胀居高不下,加上政府在竭力减少债务,中国没法再像2008年那样拿出4万亿元人民币的刺激措施、扮演帮助拯救世界于绝境的超级英雄。

相反,中国在楼市调控上拿出了出人意料的决心——往昔热火朝天的楼市,有可能成为中国经济的“氪气石”。

说到中国楼市的重要性,无论怎么强调都不为过。房地产建设在中国国内生产总值(GDP)中所占的直接比重接近15%,此外还拉动着对铁矿石和铜等大宗商品的需求。瑞银(UBS)经济学家乔纳森?安德森(Jonathan Anderson)形容中国房地产行业是“全球经济中独一无二的重要行业”。

去年初,由于房地产市场出现泡沫迹象,中国政府出台了一系列政策抑制房价,包括提高按揭利率和限制个人购房数量。

一些迹象表明,这些措施终于开始奏效了——正当美国和欧洲濒临二次探底之际。

按月度环比计算,中国房价涨势已经几近停滞。许多分析师认为,目前市场正处于一个转捩点。由于待售房存量巨大并呈上升趋势,未来几个月,各大城市房价可能一路走低,进一步抑制建筑活动和整体经济增长。

中国和世界因此面临一个大问题:中国会不会被全球经济的困境吓到,从而放松楼市调控?从本周的形势来看,答案是不会。

据官方报纸《中国证券报》周二报道,政府将在8月底前扩大限购令实施范围,增加大约30个城市。

其后,在中共最高决策机构中共中央政治局举行的会议上,国家主席胡锦涛表示,必须从严控制各类建设占用耕地,尽管中国开展了农业外包。这是放慢、而非加快发展步伐的信号。

看来,中国政府已经从2008年的经历中吸取了教训。当时,政府刚放松调控措施没几天,房价就开始大幅上涨。政策时断时续不仅对经济有破坏作用,也削弱了政府在房地产市场上的公信力。

这次政府在楼市调控上毫不松动,重树了威信。从长远来看,这对中国楼市发展是一件好事。虽然对全球经济来说是坏消息,但是中国不会出台新刺激措施已成市场主流观点。

然而,对希望从中国需求中得到短期提振的国家和投资者来说,这又是一个让人担心的理由。

译者/何黎

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