13 major Chinese cities begin pilot program promoting rental property building

World Today

13 major Chinese cities begin pilot program promoting rental property building

The latest push to slow the rising cost of housing is giving equal rights to homeowners and tenants. That reform is underway in several major cities across China.

CGTN’s Elaine Reyes reports.

For hundreds of millions of young city dwellers in China, the government has good news—renting is just as good as owning.

This month, Beijing announced plans to increase the number of rental houses on the market in rural areas.

The capital is one of 13 major cities chosen for a pilot program to use rural land to build up rental housing units. From 2017 to 2021, the city plans to set aside 1000 hectares of rural land.

Beijing currently has about 2.5 million residential rental units. The extra 1,000 hectares of land will be able to accommodate up to 400,000 new units. That will increase the city’s total rental housing stock by about 15 percent.

The southern city of Shenzhen is already taking steps to help residents in the face of escalating property prices. A piece of land specifically designed for building rental flats was recently auctioned off. More will follow, according to the city’s urban planners.

“The Shenzhen property market has a big supply problem,” explained Wang Feng, a director at Shenzhen Real Estate Research Center.

“Only one or two plots of land are auctioned every year. This time, as many as seven plots of land will be launched for the rental market in more than half a year, which was due to the preferential policies.”

Chinese banks are helping put loans together for renters so that tenants of rental properties will enjoy the same access to public services as property owners

An apartment for some Chinese is not just a place to live. It can determine whether children have access to a school.

“Officials gave us the green light all the way,” said Yi Xiaoyan, a Beijing tenant. “Then they let us go to school smoothly. The admissions process went very smoothly.”

China’s rental business makes up only two percent of the property market. The idea of “go rental” could mark a significant step toward reigning in the country’s sizzling real estate market.

Jonathan Morris on China’s attempts to rein in the housing market

CGTN’s Elaine Reyes spoke with Jonathan Morris, a commercial real estate executive, about China’s initiatives to provide more affordable housing and rein in the market.