China is to crack down on speculation in the property market and try to increase the supply of lower-cost housing, said the head of the country’s powerful planning agency.

The comments by Zhang Ping, chief of the National Development and Reform Commission, chimed with market expectations that Beijing could use targeted measures in the coming months to quell asset price rises without resorting to broader monetary tightening.

'Our country will improve housing consumption and macro-control policies, increasing the supply of mid-to-low-cost and price-controlled commercial property, and curb speculative house purchasing,' Zhang was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency.

The report did not provide any details about how the government might pursue these objectives.

South China Morning Post