China's 15 hottest housing markets continue to stabilize

Signs of a pick-up begin to emerge in the country's second and third-tier cities.

China's 15 hottest housing markets continued to stabilize in November while signs of a pick-up began to emerge in the country's second and third-tier cities, latest data released by the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

Seven of the 15 cities, comprising first-tier cities and key second-tier cities, saw new home prices fall from October. Prices in four cities were flat from a month earlier and the remaining four posted month-on-month growth, according to the bureau, which tracks property prices in 70 major cities.

In the four first-tier cities, new home prices in Beijing and Shanghai remained flat while those in Guangzhou shed 0.1 percent and Shenzhen's dipped 0.2 percent.

On an annual basis, Guangzhou, Xiamen, Jinan and Wuhan were the only four cities where prices climbed while the remaining 11 cities all registered declines.

"New home prices in the majority of the country's 15 hottest markets were lower than a year earlier, evidence that various policies implemented in different cities to quell speculation were effective in cooling these markets,"  Liu Jianwei, the bureau's statistician, said. "Particularly in first-tier cities, both new and existing home prices have recorded slower growth for the 14 consecutive months."

New home markets in 10 out of the 70 cities saw month-on-month price drops, down from 14 in October.

In the pre-owned housing market, 11 cities suffered price setbacks from a month ago, down from nine in October, according to the bureau.

On a monthly basis, new home prices in second-tier cities climbed 0.5 percent while those of pre-owned houses edged up 0.3 percent. In third-tier cities, they gained 0.4 percent and 0.3 percent respectively in new home and pre-owned home markets.

"On average, new home prices in the 70 cities expanded 0.42 percent in November from a month earlier," Xia Dan, a senior researcher at the Bank of Communications, wrote in a report. "The larger increase compared to October was mainly boosted by a recovery in residential property sales in second and third-tier cities."

Sales of new homes in China continued to grow by single digit in the first 11 months of this year, while housing inventory fell again, according to data released earlier by the bureau.

More than 9.57 trillion yuan (US$1.45 trillion) worth of new homes, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, were sold between January and November, up 9.9 percent annually. That compared to the 9.6 percent gain in the first 10 months.

By area, new homes sold in the 11-month period climbed 5.4 percent from a year earlier to 1.26 billion square meters, slowing from a 5.6 percent gain in the first 10 months.



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