The Relaxation of Home Purchase Limits in Guangzhou: Implications for the Property Market

The Relaxation of Home Purchase Limits in Guangzhou: Implications for the Property Market

China’s major southern city of Guangzhou has recently taken a bold step in revitalizing its property market by fully relaxing home purchase limits for certain individuals and increasing the supply of affordable housing. This move marks Guangzhou as the first tier-one city to significantly relax its purchase restriction policy, and is expected to have a positive impact on the housing market. By allowing the purchase of properties with a floor area of more than 120 square metres without restrictions, Guangzhou aims to accelerate the reduction of housing inventory and promote activity in the property market.

The Housing Crisis in China

China has been grappling with a deep housing crisis, as numerous debt-laden developers struggle to complete projects. This has dampened the confidence of potential buyers and weakened one of the country’s key economic growth drivers. The situation is particularly severe in Guangzhou, where a large supply of homes has added to the pressure on the market. According to a report from China Real Estate Information Corp, Guangzhou’s housing de-stocking cycle is 18.5 months, higher than Shanghai’s 10 months. Additionally, new home prices in the city have consistently fallen year-on-year for the past 12 months, as per official data.

An Effort to Address the Supply-Demand Imbalance

In response to the housing crisis, Guangzhou has formulated a comprehensive plan to increase the supply of affordable housing and low-cost rental options. The city plans to provide 10,000 units of affordable housing and 100,000 low-cost rental housing, in addition to offering rental subsidies to 18,000 households. These measures aim to improve the availability of housing for individuals who are unable to purchase their own homes, thus reducing the demand-supply imbalance in the market.

The relaxation of home purchase limits in Guangzhou is part of a broader set of government support measures for the property sector. In recent months, Chinese policymakers have implemented various strategies to prop up the crisis-hit sector. This includes providing easier access to cash for developers, reducing home mortgage rates, and relaxing rules on buying homes. Despite these efforts, the market has yet to show signs of stabilization, with sales remaining weak and more developer defaults occurring.

The housing regulator in China has emphasized that cities have full autonomy in real estate regulation and control, allowing them to adjust property policies based on local conditions. This recognition of local autonomy provides flexibility for cities like Guangzhou to implement measures that are tailored to their specific housing market challenges.

The relaxation of home purchase limits in Guangzhou represents a novel approach to tackling the housing crisis in China. By allowing the purchase of larger properties without restrictions, Guangzhou aims to stimulate the property market and reduce housing inventory. The city’s efforts to increase the supply of affordable housing and low-cost rental options further contribute to addressing the demand-supply imbalance. However, the success of these measures in stabilizing the housing market remains to be seen.


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