China's property market is showing signs of recovery after the central government implemented a series of measures in late September to constrain soaring prices. Industry insiders said that the market is steady now and might see an upswing after the Lunar New Year.
According to data released by Midland Realty, more than 2,700 apartments, totaling 286,000 square meters, were sold in Beijing from Nov 22 to Nov 28, up 68.5 percent from the previous week, the Economic Information Daily reported Tuesday.
Last week's turnovers of second-hand housing saw a 16 percent increase, as well, with more than 600 deals inked each day on the average, a real estate agency told the newspaper.
Meanwhile, in Shanghai, the most populous city in the country, about 321,000 square meters of commercial residential properties were sold during the same period, up 50 percent from the previous week, the report said.
In the second-tier cities such as Chongqing in Southwest China, the turnover also showed a more than 25 percent increase, it added.
Insiders believe the signs of recovery were mainly due to a large quantity of newly built properties introduced to the market, with Beijing reporting 16 last week, the newspaper said.
The average price increased slightly because of a large trading volume. Last week, Shanghai's average price for commercial properties increased to 23,008 yuan ($3,451) per square meter, up 0.8 percent from the previous week, the report said.
Xu Feng, head of a research center at Midland Realty, said she was "not surprised" that housing prices remain high. Xu said China's urbanization process, land-based finance, excessive liquidity and yuan appreciation pressure will help accelerate the increase of property prices. "There are so many factors that are holding prices up, while restricting factors are relatively limited," she said.
Xu said she believes that demand will remain strong in the short run.
The newspaper reported that many home buyers believe prices will not drop even if the government implements multi-control measures.
Xu said home prices are likely to rise again after the Lunar New Year if the governments' price-control policy eases.
Shen Aiqin at Guangdong-based GF Securities told the newspaper that developers are becoming cautiously optimistic about future market performance because of increasing demand.
However, Shen also warned that regulators might impose more rigorous rules to slow price increases, including approval of property tax and price control measures.
A recent Internet survey showed that only 30 percent of the surveyed netizens think the current price-control policy has been effective to curb soaring housing prices.