Housing price gains accelerate in September

Cities across China saw residential property prices tick higher on average last month amidst market rebound. Year-to-date sales also higher.

Housing prices in China climbed at a moderately faster pace in all-tiered cities in September amid a recovery in sales, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday.

In the four gateway cities, new home prices climbed by an average 0.4 percent from August, gaining 0.1 percentage point from a month ago, according to the bureau, which monitors home prices in 70 major cities around the country.

In particular, new home prices in Beijing and Guangzhou remained flat while those in Shanghai and Shenzhen picked up 0.5 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.

In the pre-occupied housing market, prices in the four cities added 0.3 percent, compared with no change in August.

In 31 second-tier cities, new home prices rose an average of 0.6 percent, accelerating from the 0.5 percent increase recorded in August. Prices of existing homes, meanwhile, climbed at the same pace of 0.2 percent as in August.

As for 35 third-tier cities monitored by the bureau, new home prices jumped 0.8 percent, 0.1 percentage point faster than in August, while existing home prices climbed 0.7 percent from a month ago, easing from August's 0.8 percent growth.

"Generally speaking, recovering property sales around the country during the traditional high season led to an accelerated pace of price growth in all-tiered cities," said Lu Wenxi, senior manager of research at Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Co. "In the meantime, the number of cities seeing price declines from a month ago increased but the sharpest decrease was just 0.4 percent, compared with 0.9 percent in August."

In September, 12 cities registered month-over-month new home price drops, compared with 10 in August. In the existing housing market, the number of cities seeing prices retreat from a month ago totaled 28, an increase of eight from August.

Across the country, new home prices in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, witnessed the biggest month-on-month increase of 2.1 percent, the bureau's data showed.

On a year-on-year basis, prices of new homes continued to rise in all-tiered cities in September. They added 4.6 percent, 9.3 percent and 8.4 percent, respectively, in first-, second- and third-tier cities. In the pre-occupied market, they gained 0.1 percent, 4.7 percent and 5 percent, respectively, from same period a year ago, the bureau said.

In the first nine months of this year, new home sales around the country recorded faster growth in both value and volume, the bureau said in an earlier statement.

Between January and September, about 9.7 trillion yuan (US$1.37 trillion) worth of new homes, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, were sold, an increase of 10.3 percent from same period a year ago. This compares with the 9.9 percent increase in the first eight months.

By area, new homes sold during the same period climbed 1.1 percent to 1.05 billion square meters, improving from a 0.6 percent rise registered in the first eight months, the bureau's data showed.

On the inventory side, newly built homes available for sale as of the end of September stood at 225 million square meters, down 13.5 percent from a year earlier. That compared with 227 million square meters recorded as of the end of August.

Investment in residential property development rose 14.9 percent year on year to 7.21 trillion yuan in the first three quarters.

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