Business / Industries

China's housing market continues to rally in April

By Wu Xiaobo ( Updated: 2016-05-16 14:32
China's property market continued to rally in April, with increased sales volume and prices.

The latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show that China sold 360 million square meters of commodity units in January to April, up 36.5 percent year on year. The growth rate was 3.4 percentage points higher than that of the first quarter.

The value of sales totaled 2.77 trillion yuan ($423.2 billion), up 55.9 percent from the same period last year. The rate of increase was 1.8 percentage points higher than the first quarter and 41.5 percentage points higher than last year.

The figures, reflecting faster growth in sales value than the areas sold, point to a trend of rising housing prices that started from the beginning of the year,especially in first-tier and core second-tier cities, analysts said.

Guangzhou, which had for long underperformed other first-tier cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, staged buoyant transaction in April and May.

According to data cited by the China Business News (CBN) from real estate agency Centaline Property, Guangzhou saw 11,191 units of houses transacted in April, with total floor areas of 1.23 million square meters, the largest transacted areas among the four major first-tier cities.

In the first 10 days of May, Guangzhou first-home buyers sealed contracts for 450,000 square meters of units, in comparison with 280,000 square meters and 330,000 square meters respectively during the same period of March and April, according to the CBN.

The prices rallied at the same time. A building near the Guangdong Olympic Sports Center in Tianhe district, for instance, rose by 1,000 – 2,000 yuan per square meter from January.

In second-tier city Xiamen, housing prices started another round of rally following the appearance of a new top bidder for a piece of land in Tong'an district on April 22, the CBN said, citing a new housing project offered at nearly 69,000 yuan per square meter on May 7, a markup of around 8,000 yuan in two weeks.

Underpinned by policy stimulus, China's housing market remains in a stage of full recovery, said Zhang Dawei, chief market analyst with Centaline Property.

Most of provinces and municipalities are still trying every means to stimulate the market so as to reduce inventory, he noted.

However, these policies can only change the market trend in the short term and the mid- and long term trend of the property market depends on the fundamentals of supply and demand, which boils down to the economic development and the attraction of a city, he said.

Looking forward, he believed policy incentives will mainly be applied in third and fourth-tier cities with great pressure of destocking while restrictive policies will be instated in first and second-tier cities to curb sharply rising housing prices.

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