Moderate rise in new home prices continues

Effective enforcement of policies to cool speculation or promote sustainable development lead to stability in the housing market.

New home prices in China continue to rise at a moderate pace, with policies to either cool down property speculation or promote sustainable development of the real estate industry being effectively enforced, official data showed on Friday.

Nationwide, new home prices in all-tiered cities recorded mild increases in February from a month ago, a sign of stability, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, which monitors home prices in 70 major cities around the country.

In particular, new home prices in the four gateway cities climbed an average 0.3 percent in February, decelerating from a 0.4 percent growth in January. They climbed 0.3 percent and 0.1 percent in Shanghai and Guangzhou, slipped 0.2 percent in Beijing and stayed unchanged in Shenzhen.

In the existing housing market, prices in the four cities edged up 0.1 percent month on month, compared with a 0.1 percent decline in January. They were up 0.5 percent and 0.2 percent in Shenzhen and Beijing, and shed 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent in Shanghai and Guangzhou, according to the bureau.

In the 31 second-tier cities, new home prices rose an average 0.7 percent for the third consecutive month. Prices of existing homes, meanwhile, dipped 0.2 percent, compared with a 0.1 percent slip in January.

New home prices in the 35 third-tier cities advanced 0.4 percent on average last month, decelerating from a 0.6 percent growth in January. In the pre-occupied housing market, prices gained by an average 0.2 percent for the third straight month.

Around the country, new home prices in Xining, capital of Qinghai Province, registered the biggest month-on-month increase of 2.3 percent, the bureau's data showed.

On a year-on-year basis, prices of new homes in all-tiered cities continued to increase at a faster pace in February. They climbed 4.1 percent, 12 percent and 11.1 percent, respectively, in first, second and third-tier cities. In the pre-occupied residential market, they climbed 0.3 percent, 8.2 percent and 8.3 percent from the same period a year ago, the bureau said.

A separate report released on Thursday by the bureau suggested cooled sentiment in the first two months of this year.

Nationwide, about 1.1 trillion yuan (US$163.8 billion) worth of new homes, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, were sold between January and February, a year-on-year rise of 4.5 percent. That compared with an annual increase of 14.7 percent in 2018.

The area of new homes sold in the first two months, meanwhile, totaled 123.19 million square meters, a drop of 3.2 percent from same period a year earlier. In comparison, a year-on-year gain of 2.2 percent was registered in 2018.

On the inventory side, newly built homes available for sale as of the end of February stood at 252.08 million square meters, down 16.3 percent from a year earlier. That compared with 250.91 million square meters recorded as of the end of 2018.

Investment in residential property development, which took up 72.1 percent of total real estate investment in the first two months, rose 18 percent year on year to 871.1 billion yuan, accelerating from the 13.4 percent growth recorded in 2018, according to the bureau.


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