House prices nudge upward in September

Updated: 2012-10-09 08:02

By Hu Yuanyuan (China Daily)

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 House prices nudge upward in September

Average house prices in 10 key cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, rose 0.22 percent on a monthly basis to 15,573 yuan ($2,475) per square meter, according to statistics from China Index Academy. Provided to China Daily

House prices in 100 major cities across China climbed further in September, the fourth consecutive rise this year, statistics from China Index Academy showed on Monday.

The average price of new homes in the 100 cities increased 0.17 percent month-on-month to 8,753 yuan ($1,346) per square meter, according to the Beijing-based research institute.

However, the rate of growth is shrinking, compared with the 0.24 percent rise in August, said the academy.

Among the 100 cities, 60 saw prices increase on a monthly basis, 38 experienced a decline in prices, and the remaining two remained flat.

Average house prices in 10 key cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, rose 0.22 percent on a monthly basis to 15,573 yuan per square meter.

On a yearly basis, however, the average house price in those cities fell 1.4 percent year-on-year, the sixth consecutive monthly drop.

"I expect prices to stabilize or gradually pick up in the remaining months of this year," said Carlby Xie, head of research at the real estate consultancy Colliers International (Beijing).

"But prices in the country's big cities may see a strong rebound after the first quarter of 2013, due to the demand and supply relationship," he added.

Despite the further increase in property prices on a monthly basis, sales in the country's major cities have started to decline.

During the recent National Day holiday, property sales in 54 cities monitored by Centaline dropped nearly 70 percent over the previous week, according to figures from the Hong Kong-based real estate service provider.

Home sales in Beijing during the holiday dropped 51.9 percent year-on-year, according to statistics from Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Rural-Urban Development.

A total of 437 new homes were sold in Beijing between Oct 1 and 7, down 88.1 percent on the previous week.

A similar situation also occurred in Shanghai and Shenzhen.

But, according to Zhang Dawei, Centaline's research head in northern China, as most online transaction systems were closed during the holiday, the actual figures may be higher than these statistics.

"A large number of people were away on vacation, which in part caused the drop in property sales," said Hu Jinghui, vice-president of real estate service company 5i5j Real Estate.

Meanwhile, as a growing number of people take a wait-and-see attitude because of soaring property prices and the fact that a great deal of market demand has been met in the past few months, Hu expected property sales in the capital to continue to slide in October.

"I do want a small apartment in Beijing, but the current price is now beyond my reach," said Huang Ying, a 28-year-old company executive.

She took a fancy to a one-bedroom apartment along the southern Third Ring Road. However, as the unit price has increased nearly 30 percent over the past three months, she could no longer afford the down payment.

Some buyers, however, expect that there might be some policy fine-tuning in the real estate sector later this year.

"Since the price has jumped more than 30 percent this year, I would rather wait to see if the government will take more measures to curb price growth," said Zhang Lian, a retired teacher who plans to buy an apartment for her son.

However, most industry analysts and economists said the nation's real estate policies are very likely to remain unchanged for the remainder of the year.

"China's economic situation is still OK, and there is no need to relax rigorous property policies," said Wang Haifeng, director of international economics at the Institute for International Economic Research, a think tank under the National Development and Reform Commission.

"But a further slowdown in the economy will also make it difficult for the government to launch more tightening measures," Wang said.

China's GDP growth may fall to 7.7 percent this year due to lackluster exports and lower investment growth, the World Bank said in a report on Monday.

The forecast for the expansion of the world's second-largest economy is down from the 8.2 percent estimate it made in April.

House prices nudge upward in September

(China Daily 10/09/2012 page14)