China’s property market has surged in recent years. After prices jumped 25 per cent in 2009 alone, the central government imposed austerity measures, including lending curbs, higher mortgage rates and restrictions on the number of homes each family can buy.
Mainland property prices rise again
Home prices increase for the seventh month, amid signs authorities will not add to curbs
New-home prices on the mainland have increased for a seventh month as buyers concerned that prices would surge again boosted sales, SouFun said.
Prices rose 0.23 per cent last month from November to 9,715 yuan per square metre (HK$1,123 per square foot), the country's biggest real estate website owner said yesterday, based on its survey of 100 cities.
Harbin in Heilongjiang province posted the biggest gain in December, with prices jumping 3.7 per cent.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development said last month that it would support demand from residents seeking bigger homes this year, prompting speculation that the authorities will not add to property curbs including higher down payments and home-purchase restrictions.
Beijing has suspended auctions of premier land slots since September to avoid setting new price records that would fuel expectations for further home price increases.
"With the fundamentals in the property market improving at an increasingly faster pace, further home price gains in the first half of this year are a high-probability event," Luo Yu, a Shanghai-based analyst at CEBM Group, an advisory company, wrote in a report yesterday. "Although the government's tolerance over home prices has increased, the growing panic about prices may force policy adjustments."
December home prices were little changed from a year earlier, climbing just 0.03 per cent, according to SouFun. They snapped eight months of year-on-year declines.
Prices climbed in 53 of the 70 cities the government tracks in November from the previous month, the most in 18 months, the National Bureau of Statistics said on December 18.
The following day, Beijing halted the sale of a residential site in an area close to embassies that could have set a record for the capital city, according to broker Bacic & 5i5j Group.