China's housing market remains stable in May with mild price increase
China continued to see a generally stable housing market in May, with home prices in 70 major cities showing mild month-on-month increases, official data showed Monday.
New home prices in four first-tier cities -- Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou — rose by 0.7 percent month on month in May, 0.5 percentage points higher from one month earlier, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.
The country's second-tier cities saw a month-on-month increase of 0.6 percent in new home prices, up 0.1 percentage points from the previous month, while third-tier cities witnessed a month-on-month rise of 0.7 percent in new home prices, compared with a 0.6-percent increase reported in April.
Last month, prices of resold housing in first-tier cities edged up 1.1 percent month on month, unchanged from one month earlier.
In second- and third-tier cities, prices of resold housing increased by 0.4 percent and 0.3 percent from the previous month, respectively.
With the continuous resumption of production and living orders, the housing demand was further unleashed in May, said Kong Peng, a senior NBS statistician.
Monday's data also showed that commercial housing sales in terms of floor area totaled 487.03 million square meters in the first five months, down 12.3 percent year on year, narrowing by 7 percentage points from the January-April decline.
China's investment in property development inched down 0.3 percent year on year in the first five months, narrowing from the 3.3-percent decline during the January-April period.
Wen Bin, chief analyst at China Minsheng Bank, said the real estate market in major cities has witnessed a delayed pick-up as the housing supply and demand, which had been hit by COVID-19, were gradually unleashed recently.
With continuous improvement in major indicators including commercial housing sales, Wen predicted that the country's property investment growth would return to positive territory.
The overall impact of COVID-19 on the property market is almost over and market turnover for the year is still likely to reach the peak level seen in 2019, said Zhang Dawei, chief analyst with real estate agency Centaline Property.
Data in the first two weeks of this month had shown that the market sustained active operations in most cities, Zhang noted.
China has reiterated the principle that "houses are for living in, not speculation." While curbing housing price speculation, the country will also implement city-specific policies in the sector, according to this year's government work report.