Guangzhou to inspect over heated real estate market

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The real estate market in Guangzhou is to face closer scrutiny following the launch Monday of a new campaign by municipal authorities. China Daily reported that eleven government departments will aim to expose firms’ tricks and misbehavior relating to property developments, marketing and sales activities. The departments involved include those responsible for the city’s development and reform, construction, land resources and housing, urban planning, pricing, industrial and commercial administration, statistics, auditing, finance, taxation and governmental administration supervision.

Ouyang Yongsheng, a spokesperson for the municipal government said special emphasis would be placed on whether developers had illegally hoarded land for speculation, driven up prices by releasing false information or by cornering a market, disobeyed the city’s overall urban planning regulations, used pricing tricks, released for sale properties that had yet to pass official inspections and receive approval, or acted against the State’s taxation policy to prevent speculative apartment purchases.

Yongsheng said the campaign will run for a month and that officials would conduct thorough investigations of the city’s real estate companies. “The move is an inseparable part of the municipal authorities’ measures to curb the city’s rising house prices,” he said. “The government wants to keep prices at a rational level so that most citizens can afford to buy their own homes.”

In February, the average price of an apartment in Guangzhou was 7,729 yuan per sq meter, compared with 3,888 yuan per sq meter in 2003.