CapitaLand says boom in China property not a bubble

CapitaLand, which has Chinese properties valued at more than US$14 billion ($19.6 billion), said demand in China is “strong” and the real-estate boom can’t be called a bubble.

Still, the Singapore-based developer said it was “comforting” that the Chinese government is taking steps to rein in the market, according to a CapitaLand presentation filed to the Singapore Exchange today. CapitaLand, Southeast Asia’s biggest developer, has said it plans to expand its China business to 45% of its operations within 5 years.

China’s property prices rose at the fastest pace in almost two years in February, adding urgency to the government’s efforts to damp speculation and increase the amount of affordable housing. Residential and commercial real-estate prices in 70 cities climbed 10.7% from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said on its website yesterday, topping a gain of 9.5% in January.

To cool speculation, China is requiring a down payment for land purchases equal to 50% of a plot’s price, the Ministry of Land and Resources said on its website late yesterday. The government in January also re-imposed a tax on homes sold within five years of their purchase, after having cut the taxable period to two years in January 2009 to bolster a then-flagging market.

Bank of China, the nation’s third-largest lender by market value, said Feb. 3 that it had reduced discounts for some mortgages, citing concern about rising property-market risks.

Source : The Edge – 11 Mar 2010

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