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Property curb decisions 'to be based on July, August prices'

Updated: 2012-08-10 09:05
By Wu Yiyao in Shanghai ( China Daily)

Decision-makers are likely to introduce new policy controls on the property market based on housing sales in July and August, according to one of the country's leading property market analysts.

Xue Jianxiong, an analyst with China Real Estate Information Corp, a property information services provider, said that housing price curbs have helped control price surges - but they cannot change the upward trend if supplies cannot meet demand.

July and August offer enough time for decision-makers to analyze the realty market before making further decisions, said Xue.

He added that too much uncertainty still exists about the government's policies, and if housing prices continue to surge around the country, tougher curbs on purchases or even taxation policies may be introduced.

Xue's comments came as new data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that the value of home sale transactions fell around 16 percent from June to July.

Meanwhile, according to a report in 21st Century Business Herald on Thursday, teams sent by the central government to check the national implementation of property curbs have returned to Beijing to submit reports that will be used to determine future property policy changes.

Eight teams were sent to 16 provinces and municipalities last month, having the aim of tamping down property speculation and evaluating the effects of the curbing measures that have been introduced so far, the central government said.

Separate data from Chartered Bank (China) Ltd, also released on Thursday, suggested that as many as 90 percent of the homebuyers surveyed said they were buying property for genuine needs - either as their first homes or to improve housing condition - rather than as an investment.

Quoting a source close to the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, 21st Century Business Herald said officials will decide whether or not to introduce new curbing policies based on the finding of the teams.

The report added that the ministry has already started drafting possible new policies.

According to data released on Thursday by the National Bureau of Statistics, the value of home sales transactions fell from 531.3 billion yuan ($83.5 billion) in June to 454.4 billion yuan in July.

The bureau data showed that investment in homes, office buildings, malls and other real estate reached 3.7 trillion yuan between January and July, a 15.4 percent increase year-on-year.

However, the increase is less than in the first seven months of 2011, which was 33.6 percent.

The data showed there was new property construction completed occupying an area of 1.04 billion square meters, a 9.8 percent year-on-year decrease.

Xue at China Real Estate Information Corp said the bureau data alone were unlikely to be strong enough for the government to introduce new tightening measures, adding that the new housing supply in the first seven months of 2012 was 29 percent lower than in 2011, and new homes are still in short supply in Shanghai.

However, if the situation remains the same in the fourth quarter, then there will be another price surge in big cities such as Shanghai, he said.

He added that it takes time to consolidate curbing controls, because the interests of various parties involved in the realty market continue to change and have to be considered.

A report by, a real estate website, said July new home prices showed their biggest gain since June 2011.

The prices of new homes rose by 0.3 percent from June to July, rising to 8,717 yuan per square meter of space. The increase was 0.05 percent in June.

Quoted in Shanghai Securities News on Thursday, Wang Jueli, deputy director of the Policy Research Center with the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, said the realty market in the first half of 2012 is cooler than projected.

He added that the market in some first- and second-tier cities did warm up in the first half of 2012.

However, housing consumption may lead to a rebound in prices and undermine government controls, he said.