Central Management

China is having a harder time managing a property market that is diverging, the country’s housing minister said Tuesday.

“The differences are severe, and it is worsening,” Chen Zhenggao said at a news conference on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress on Tuesday.  “The situation in the first-tier cities and the third- and fourth-tier cities are different, which brings about challenges to our regulatory work, and is a major issue.”

[emphasis added]  And this:

“This is a trade-off,” said Rosealea Yao, an analyst at Gavekal Dragonomics.  “On one hand, you want rural workers to buy homes,” she said.  “But there is a need to prop up housing prices because Chinese people only buy homes when prices are rising.  Inadvertently, this then fuels sharp gains in home prices in first-tier cities.”

There’s a hint there about the utility of managing a large, complex economy from a center that’s far distant from that economy.  Maybe, just maybe, the PRC should lay off from those one-size-fits-all rules.  Or even lay off from regulating so much at all.

Of course, that would mean a lessening of personal power for the men of the PRC government….

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