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China Property

Chinese keen on home purchases, survey shows

Findings point to an erosion in affordability, matching the poll by PBOC

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 January, 2016, 8:00pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 January, 2016, 8:00pm

To gauge Chinese people’s demand for domestic and overseas housing, the South China Morning Post and Century 21 China Real Estate have partnered on a quarterly sentiment survey.

In the eighth poll conducted in Beijing and Shanghai in the fourth quarter of last year, 401 Century 21 clients responded, compared with 304 in the third quarter.

The latest survey showed sentiment on home purchases improved significantly as a record 40 per cent of the respondents said they would like to buy a home in the next three months, up from 13 per cent a quarter earlier.

Sixty-one per cent of the respondents said they could afford homes worth less than 30,000 yuan (HK$35,400) per square metre, compared with 27 per cent previously, suggesting an erosion in affordability.

The findings match those of an official survey by the People’s Bank of China in the fourth quarter, which showed 52 per cent of the respondents regarded home prices as “unacceptably high”, up 2.4 percentage points from the third quarter, and only 3.8 per cent considered them “satisfactory”.

Ding Zuyu, co-president for E-House (China), expects the strong sales growth in 2015 could not be sustained this year due to a high base, but the overall market will stay stable with a neutral outlook on the back of continued policy support, according to Jefferies.

READ MORE: Mainland Chinese show record high interest in buying and trading up homes, survey shows

Survey results on domestic demand

1) Do you plan to buy a home in the next three months?

Yes: 40 per cent (against 13 per cent in the third quarter).

2) What is the price you can afford and what is the price of projects you are looking at now?

Sixty-one per cent (27 per cent) said they could afford a price less than 30,000 yuan per square metre, while 61 per cent (25 per cent) said they were looking at projects below that price.

3) Do you own a home and do you plan to sell it in order to buy a new one?

All (97 per cent) said they owned a home and 66 per cent (50 per cent) would sell it to buy a new one.

Survey results on overseas demand

1) Do you plan to buy a home abroad in the next three months?

Yes: None (none).

2) Why are you buying abroad?

Fifty-two per cent (48 per cent) cited children’s education, while 35 per cent (10 per cent) said it would be for emigration and 13 per cent (29 per cent) would do so for investment.

3) What is your main concern about buying properties abroad?

Twenty-nine per cent (29 per cent) said policy issues would be their main concern, while 9 per cent (12 per cent) cited price.

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