SHANGHAI, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- A top Shanghai housing management official said on Wednesday that the city will continue to restrict home purchases despite a slowing economy.
The property market's operation in Shanghai has been within expectation since the beginning of the year, Liu Haisheng, director of the Shanghai Housing Guarantee and Management Bureau, told a press briefing.
"Currently, the controls are in a critical period and Shanghai will continue to strictly enact housing purchase limits," Liu told reporters.
New home sales rose only 2 percent year on year in the first three quarters of the year to 10.8 million square meters as purchase restrictions curbed investment demand, he said.
The housing price index in Shanghai stayed flat in August from a month ago. Earlier, the index rose slightly for two months in June and July, when two lending cost cuts drove more prospective buyers into the market after it fell month-on-month for eight consecutive months from October last year.
The authorities will continue to use inspections to curb speculative and investment housing purchases and to support residents' reasonable home purchases to promote stable and healthy growth in the real estate market, Liu said.
During the Jan.-Sept. period, real estate investment in Shanghai climbed 12.2 percent year on year to 166.5 billion yuan (26.6 billion U.S. dollars), official data showed.