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China property

Beijing smog fails to dampen ongoing appetite for luxury villas as record 8,050 sold in 2016

Average price of villas increased 10pc to 37,783 yuan per square meter, while total sales hit 91.2 billion yuan, more than twice the number in 2015

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 January, 2017, 7:50pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 January, 2017, 10:29am

Beijing’s ongoing serious air problems have failed to dampen its residents ongoing appetite for buying luxury houses in the city, as latest research shows a record 8,050 villas were sold in the capital city last year – a 119 per cent year on year jump.

That amounted to 2.41 million square metres of space sold, also a new high, and a 116 per cent increase from a year earlier, according to new data released by Beijing-based Yahao Real Estate Selling & Consulting Solution Agency.

The average price of villas increased 10 per cent to 37,783 yuan per square meter, while total sales hit 91.2 billion yuan, more than twice the number in 2015.

Although Beijing issued its highest level of air health alert last month, after weeks of choking winter pollution and toxic smog, analysts say the demand for luxury housing is still picking up.

The worries over air problem have helped villa sales because Beijing people are now looking for properties either away from the densest urban areas or those they have good indoor air cleaning systems
Zhang Dawei, Centaline Property

In December alone, 871 villas were sold there, a 23 per cent increase from the month before.

“The worries over air problem have helped villa sales because Beijing people are now looking for properties either away from the densest urban areas or those they have good indoor air cleaning systems,” said Zhang Dawei, chief analyst at real estate agency Centaline Property.

Some of those living in Beijing are considering relocation, Zhang said, but most would rather stay mainly because there are better job opportunities on offer.

December official data showed new home prices in Beijing have shot up 35 per cent in the past 12 months.

Guo Yi, the marketing head at Yahao Real Estate, said ample liquidity in the market under the central bank’s easing measures and the fact that Chinese manufacturing is in recession, have pushed a lot of capital into the real estate sector, especially into the high-end market, led by villas.

The emerge of huge wealth from the internet and new energy sectors have also contributed to a big demand for luxury properties, Guo added.

The most expensive house in Beijing currently is One Sino Park, located in the city east’s Chaoyang District. Developed by homebuilder Sunac China Holdings, the project launched last year and is selling at 170,000 yuan per square metre.

Meanwhile, to curb the rising property bubble concerns, Cai Qi, the acting mayor of Beijing, last month promised the municipal government will “make sure” next year’s new home prices will “not rise”.

Centaline’s Zhang said Beijing will continue to set a cap on luxury houses prices as a part of the government’s goal to cool the market, so the capital’s housing market is likely to remain robust in 2017.

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