Business / Industries

1st-tier cities unlikely to lift house market bans

( Updated: 2014-08-08 13:59

As 80 percent of Chinese cities with home-purchase restrictions moved to lift them amid cooling property markets, mega-cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen continue to enforce restrictions.

Home purchasing restrictions have been strictly implemented in the four cities and there won't be any changes in a short term, 21 Century Business Herald reported on Friday citing officials and industry sources.

Wang Anshun, mayor of Beijing, said that the capital would not ease property restrictions, a move that could undermine the city's efforts on restructuring and maintaining the sustainability of the market.

New home prices in Beijing saw a dip of 1.6 percent month-on-month in July. Despite the drop, prices have maintained a steady growth of 15 percent from a year earlier, according to data from property information provider

Earlier media reports said Beijing and Shanghai have eased restrictions of non-residential housing with floor areas of over 140 square meters, and Shenzhen had simply scraped home-purchasing curbs.

Statistics show the four megacities, called the weathervane of China's realty market, witnessed a sharp drop of home sales in the first half of 2014, stoking concerns of an increasingly gloomy outlook on the markets.

During the first half of this year, registered commercial housing sales dipped to 4,466 units in Beijing, the lowest since 2006. Newly-built commercial home sales dropped by 18.6 percent year-on-year in Shanghai.

Meanwhile, new home sales hit a decade low in Guangzhou, and second-hand housing sales slumped 44.5 percent year-on-year in Shenzhen during the same period, the lowest monthly average in the last seven years.

The report quotes Zhang Dawei, director of market research at Centaline Property Agency Ltd, saying the lifting of home-purchase restrictions in the first-tier cities is a trend in the longer run.

As of Friday, 37 of the 46 cities in China that have home-purchasing restrictions have scraped the policy. Hohhot, provincial capital of North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, first lifted restrictions to boost home sales on June 24.

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