The Chinese housing market is about one of the most interesting places in the world to watch right now. According to the consensus of recent reports, sales and prices have risen considerably in the last couple of months, but the latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that the value of home sale transactions fell around 16 percent from 531.3 billion Yuan ($83.5 billion) in June to 454.4 billion Yuan in July.
However, the Bureau data also showed a 15.4% increase in real estate investment in the first seven months of this year, although this is much less than the 33.6% increase recorded in the first seven months of 2011. This is contradicted by a report from Chartered Bank (China) Ltd, which found that as much as 90 percent of the home-buyers surveyed said they were buying property for genuine needs - either as their first homes or to improve housing condition - rather than as an investment.
Meanwhile a report by SouFun.com, a real estate website, said July new home prices showed their biggest gain since June 2011. The prices of new homes rose by 0.3 percent from June to July, rising to 8,717 Yuan per square meter of space, up from June's 0.05% increase.
The eight teams sent by the government to analyse the effects of the curbs in 16 cities and municipalities have returned to Shanghai and submitted their reports. Officials will decide whether or not to introduce new curbing policies based on the finding of the teams, according to 21st Century Business Herald quoting a source close to the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.
Wang Jueli, deputy director of the Policy Research Centre with the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, said the realty market in the first half of 2012 is cooler than projected, but that it did warm up in some first and second tier cities in the first half of 2012.
However, housing consumption may lead to a rebound in prices and undermine government controls, he said.
- Monday 13 August 2012