Urban home prices rise at slower pace in October

Cao Qian
More Chinese cities recorded month-over-month property price drops, compared with September. Meanwhile, sales volumes continued to expand for the year-to-date.
Cao Qian

Residential property prices in all-tier Chinese cities continued to rise at a slower pace in October compared with a month ago, according to data released on Monday by the National Bureau of Statistics.

In the four gateway cities, new home prices climbed 0.3 percent, easing from September's average gain of 0.4 percent. Guangzhou continued to lead with a 0.5 percent increase, while Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen followed with month-over-month rises of 0.3 percent, 0.2 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively, according to the bureau, which monitors prices in 70 major Chinese cities.

"More cities registered month-over-month price drops in October as overall sentiment around the country eased for another month," said Lu Wenxi, senior researcher at Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Co. "In general, first-tier cities outperformed their smaller counterparts around the country."

The number of cities registering month-over-month price decreases jumped to 19 in October, from eight in September, while the steepest loss was 0.7 percent last month, compared with 0.4 percent in September.

In the pre-occupied housing market, prices in the four top-tier cities rose 0.5 percent on average, down from 0.9 percent in the previous month. They jumped most in Shenzhen again, with growth of 0.9 percent; and climbed 0.6 percent, 0.5 percent and 0.4 percent in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing, respectively.

In 31 second-tier and 35 third-tier cities, new home prices rose by an average of 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent, decelerating from growth of 0.3 percent and 0.5 percent in September, respectively. Prices of existing homes in second and third-tier cities both advanced 0.2 percent, remaining unchanged from a month earlier and easing 0.4 percentage points, respectively.

Nationwide, new home prices in Yangzhou, in Jiangsu Province, rose the fastest, up 0.9 percent from September, the bureau's data showed.

On a year-over-year basis, prices of new and existing homes rose 4.1 percent and 8 percent in the four first-tier cities, up by 0.2 percentage points and 0.6 percentage points from September, respectively. New home prices gained 4.4 percent, on an annual basis, in second-tier cities and 4 percent in third-tier ones, both easing by 0.4 percentage points from a month earlier. Costs of pre-occupied homes added 2.1 percent in second-tier cities and rose 1.5 percent in third-tier ones.

On the sales side, strength maintained for another month.

In the first 10 months of 2020, more than 11.79 trillion yuan (US$1.79 trillion) worth of new homes, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, were sold around the country, a year-on-year increase of 8.2 percent, according to a separate statement released by the bureau. That further accelerates from the 6.2 percent growth registered in the first nine months.

By area, new homes sold during the January-October period gained 0.8 percent to 1.18 billion square meters, getting back into positive territory for the first time this year. They were down by 1 percent in the first nine months and 2.5 percent during the first eight months.

On the investment side, meanwhile, real estate developers around the country earmarked nearly 8.63 trillion yuan during the first 10 months for housing development, a year-on-year increase of 7 percent, further accelerating from the 6.1 percent rise recorded in the first three quarters, the bureau's data showed.

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