Business / Industries

Support measures give boost to market

By WU YIYAO (China Daily) Updated: 2015-04-02 08:40

An ongoing series of policies aimed at supporting the real estate market appear to have an effect, with agents in some cities reporting price rises.

The average price of new homes in 288 cities fell just 0.01 percent in March, the 12th consecutive drop on a monthly basis, according to property services provider China Real Estate Information Corp's monthly monitoring data.

"The index has been falling for a year, but the monthly drop has been narrowing for four months now," the CRIC said.

Measures to help the market have included an expansion in the amount of land available to developers, tax breaks, and cuts in down payments, and analysts said they have encouraged more prospective buyers.

"The series of moves since the fourth quarter of 2014 have been effective in curbing the slide in home prices in many cities," said Jenny Wu, director and head of residential operations for East China at real estate firm DTZ.

"In Beijing and Shanghai, home prices may climb 10 percent in the next two quarters."

Selling agents are seeing a rise in demand from prospective buyers.

"In recent months, on average I have three to four clients each day visiting apartments," said Wen Liqiang, a property agent with Tianyi Property Agency in Shanghai. "But since Monday that has increased to around 10 clients each day. Some have even been bringing cash to use for a deposit, which shows a serious interest in buying."

Some owners have also been raising their original sale prices, particularly on pre-owned apartments as the market becomes more bullish.

"My original offer price was 3.2 million yuan ($516,000) for my 78-square-meter apartment, but I am thinking somewhere around 3.5 million yuan is more realistic," said Huang Jiaying, a 56-year-old homeowner in Shanghai.

"Lowering the down-payment requirement may enable more people to buy a second home, and the tax waiver is also letting buyers save more. I think the demand for apartments like mine may spike, which is good for young couples, especially."

Analysts including Xie Aiyu from Shanghai Pacific Property Co Ltd said the most recent measures, announced on Monday, were the most significant over the past six months.

"The new policies have helped demand and supply. More homeowners who have property to let are now willing to sell, given the transaction tax waiver, while the expanding supplies of land will also help increase the amount of available affordable housing," said Xie.

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