Shanghai takes steps to cool home market
SHANGHAI • Shanghai unveiled a package of measures designed to stem a surge in property prices in the metropolis, underscoring how regulators in top-tier cities are shifting gears in an economy where housing has been a brake on growth in recent years.
The local government will tighten criteria for non-resident buyers, raise down-payment requirements for some second homes and ban unregulated lending, Mr Gu Jinshan, chief of the city housing management commission, said yesterday.
Shanghai, where new home prices soared 21 per cent last month from a year ago, is the first large city to tighten home- buying requirements, taking advantage of greater freedom from the central government for the local authorities to deal with divergent property markets.
Malaysia's February consumer prices up 4.2%
KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia's consumer price index last month rose to a seven-year high at 4.2 per cent from a year earlier, government data showed yesterday.
The inflation rate is the highest since December 2008, when it hit 4.4 per cent.
The increase was attributed to higher costs of food and consumer goods, according to data from the Statistics Department.
The consumer price index was above the median forecast of 4 per cent in a Reuters poll, and up from 3.5 per cent in January.
The central bank has an inflation target of 2.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent this year. It said in January that inflation was expected to peak in the first quarter before moderating, as low energy and commodity prices persist.