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June 19, 2019

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Housing prices remain stable

Moderate price growth was seen in both new and preoccupied housing markets across all-tiered Chinese cities in May, indicating prevailing stability, according to official data released yesterday.

New-home prices in the four first-tier cities advanced an average 0.3 percent from a month ago. Notably, during this period, Shanghai was the only one that recorded a dip of 0.1 percent. In Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, new-home prices edged up 0.6 percent, 0.8 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively, said the National Bureau of Statistics, which monitors price changes in 70 major Chinese cities.

In the existing housing market, prices in the four cities climbed 0.1 percent, decelerating from April’s 0.4 percent growth. Prices rose 0.1 percent in Shanghai, fell 0.3 percent in Guangzhou and remained unchanged in Beijing and Shenzhen.

In 31 second-tier cities, new-home prices continued to rise an average 0.8 percent last month, the same as a month earlier. Prices of preoccupied homes jumped 0.5 percent, easing from 0.6 percent growth in April.

In even smaller third-tier cities, new-home prices edged up an average 0.8 percent from a month ago, 0.3 percentage points faster than April. Prices of existing homes in the 35 cities rose 0.6 percent, unchanged from a month ago.

Buyer momentum

Countrywide, new-home prices in Xi’an of Shaanxi Province recorded the biggest month-over-month increase of 2 percent, while in the pre-used housing market, Hohhot of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region led all with a 1.8 percent gain, according to the bureau.

“Generally speaking, as buyer momentum started to ease around the country following a rebound after the Spring Festival, the country’s housing market kind of lacks a major boost for further price growth,” according to Lu Wenxi, senior research manager of Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Co.

On a year-on-year basis, prices of new homes in first- and third-tier cities both rose at the same pace as in April and decelerated in second-tier cities by 0.2 percentage points.

In the preoccupied residential market, prices in all-tiered cities rose at a slower pace in May, decelerating by 0.5 percentage points in first-tier cities and by 0.2 percentage points in both second- and third-tier cities.

New-home sales in China rose at a slower pace in the first five months of this year, the bureau said in an earlier statement released last Friday.

Between January and May, about 4.5 trillion yuan (US$650 billion) worth of new homes, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, were sold across China, an increase of 8.9 percent from the same period a year ago. That compared with the 10.6 percent growth recorded in the first four months.

The area of new homes sold in the first five months totaled 487 million square meters, a year-on-year dip of 0.7 percent, reverting from a 0.4 percent increase registered in the first four months.


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