Friday 19 October 2018

Slowdown in China home price rises as buyer curbs bite

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: AP
Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: AP

Bloomberg News

China home prices rose in the fewest cities since January 2016, adding to signs of a property slowdown as curbs on buyers bite.

New-home prices, excluding government-subsidised housing, in September rose in 44 of 70 cities tracked by the government, compared with 46 in August, the National Bureau of Statistics said last Monday.

Prices fell in 18 cities from the previous month and were unchanged in eight cities.

Stabilising home prices in the nation's largest cities are a welcome sign for Communist Party leaders gathered in Beijing to map policy for the next five years.

President Xi Jinping renewed a year-long call that homes are built "to be inhabited'' and not for speculation in his speech at the twice-a-decade Party Congress, inking the language in one of the nation's top policy frameworks.

Data last week showed that home sales last month fell from year-earlier levels for the first time since March 2015, declining 2.4pc by value, and 5.7pc by area, according to Bloomberg calculations.

Xi's speech showed that "instead of easing, we are more likely to see more tightening during or after the party congress", Alan Jin, a property analyst at Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd said before the data release.

Home prices fell 0.5pc in southern Guangzhou, the second consecutive monthly fall. Values in Shanghai and in Beijing declined 0.1pc and 0.2pc respectively.

Commercial property sales in Beijing meanwhile totalled 5.65m sq metres in the first nine months of this year, down 49.2pc year on year, according to data released by the local statistics authority last Monday.

The data shows that the construction area of commercial property in Beijing was 115m sq metres, a fall of 8pc on last year. (Bloomberg)

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