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May 17, 2018

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Prices of new homes in China stay stable in April

PRICES of new homes remained stable across China in April, data released yesterday by the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

New home prices in Beijing and Shenzhen edged up 0.2 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively, from March, while those in Shanghai and Guangzhou both shed by 0.1 percent from a month ago.

On an annual basis, prices in the four first-tier cities continued to drop, ranging from 0.2 percent to 2.2 percent, according to the bureau, which monitors home prices in 70 major Chinese cities.

“In the 15 hottest cities, new home prices were little changed for another month with minor increases being recorded on both a monthly and yearly basis, as rein-in measures to curb speculation remained strictly enforced,” said Liu Jianwei, a senior statistician at the bureau.

Eight of the 15 cities, including first-tier and key second-tier cities, saw new home prices rise by 0.1 percent to 0.5 percent from March. Year on year, new home prices in five of the 15 cities gained between 0.4 percent and 1.1 percent.

Notably, the number of cities where new home prices grew month on month rose by three to 58 in April, the most since the second half of 2017. Seventeen of the 58 cities saw prices rise 1 percent and above month over month, compared to five cities in February and three in March, the bureau's data showed.

In the pre-occupied home market, prices in first-tier cities fell 0.1 percent from March. They were flat in second-tier cities and added 0.1 percentage point in third-tier cities.

New home prices in Dandong, a northeastern city on the border with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea gained 2 percent in April from a month ago, the largest increase among all Chinese cities. It was followed by Sanya and Haikou in Hainan Province, where new home prices both rose 1.9 percent from March.

During previous years, rocketing housing prices, especially in major cities, had fueled concerns about asset bubbles. To curb speculation, local governments have passed or expanded their curbs on house purchases and raised the minimum downpayment required for a mortgage.

Property development investment grew 10.3 percent year on year for January-April, a dip from 10.4 percent during the first quarter, said the bureau.

The pullback in property development investment and housing sales growth was normal, bureau spokesperson Liu Aihua said on Tuesday, adding that she expected the property market to keep stable development as China continues to impose measures to curb home buying to contain speculation.

This year’s government work report reiterated that “houses are for living in, not for speculation.”


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