Business / Industries

Shanghai, Shenzhen see fall in housing market after new curbs

By He Yini ( Updated: 2016-04-08 16:16

Shanghai, Shenzhen see fall in housing market after new curbs

Chinese homebuyers look at housing models of a residential property project during a real estate fair in Shanghai, China, May 2, 2015. [Photo / IC]

Home transactions plunged in Shanghai and Shenzhen just a few days after the two cities moved on March 25 to crack down on speculators and tame the overheated real estate market, the China Securities Journal reported on Friday.

Daily second-home sales in Shanghai slumped to 1,000 units after the new curbs, only about half the previous level in early March, the newspaper cited statistics from Sinyi Realty, a Taiwan-based property firm.

The city's daily sold floor areas dropped to 450,000 square meters during March 28 and April 3, down 56 percent from the previous week, according to CRIC research center under E-house China, a real estate information provider.

Meanwhile in Shenzhen, new home sales dipped 16 percent to stand at 652 units on an average day during the same period, with floor space falling 15.7 percent -- the fifth consecutive week of cooling after the Chinese Lunar New Year.

The drop came after the two cities rolled out new restrictions to rein in surging home prices on March 25 while squeezing out speculative homebuyers.

Under the new rules, local families in Shanghai will have to pay at least 50 percent down payment for a second home or a minimum of 70 percent if the house is either above 140 square meters or priced above 4.5 million yuan ($692,300) and is located within the inner core of the city.

Families with no permanent residency are required to pay taxes for at least five years in a row before buying a property in the city, compared with the previous requirement of just two years of tax payments.

In Shenzhen, local homebuyers are required to pay at least 40 percent of the home price as down payment for a second home, and nonlocal families can only buy one property after paying taxes for at least three years.

Outlook for the housing market has obviously turned, the newspaper cited Chinese economist Ma Guangyuan, and the new restrictions have squeezed out those whose pockets are deep enough to afford homes but with no buying qualification.

That may drive down home prices in the two cities, Ma added.

"Housing market in the two cities will cool down in a short period, but we cannot rule out the possibility of a rebound," Chen Jie, head of the real estate research institute of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, was quoted as saying.

In February, Shenzhen recorded the biggest new-home price increase of 56.9 percent year-on-year among 70 cities, followed by Shanghai's 20.6 percent, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

Wang Ying contributed to the story.

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