Prices of new homes in China rise for a third consecutive month

Growth is reported for the third consecutive month, but the outlook remains uncertain

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 September, 2012, 2:39am

Prices of new homes on the mainland last month rose for the third consecutive month, with 63 of 100 cities monitored reporting growth, according to an affiliate of SouFun Holdings, the nation's biggest real estate website.

New home prices edged up 0.24 per cent from July to 8,738 yuan (HK$10,670) per square metre, a survey conducted by the China Index Academy showed.

The growth was less than the 0.33 per cent achieved in July. A total of 70 cities recorded price growth in July.

Analysts' views were mixed over the outlook for the mainland market, with some predicting that housing prices would continue to rise this month and next month - the peak season for the release of new projects.

But some analysts raised concerns over the extent of unsold stock, which they said would lower the potential for prices of homes to rise.

"Housing prices will continue to increase should there be no tightening or new measures over the next few months," said Alan Jin, a property analyst at Japanese brokerage house Mizuho Securities.

"There are nearly 85,000 development-related companies in China and you cannot expect them to act rationally and be self-disciplined. So the majority of them will hike prices once they have a chance."

Thirty-seven cities reported price declines, as against 30 cities in July.

Prices in 10 big cities rose 0.45 per cent month on month to 15,539 yuan per square metre.

The biggest increase in the 10 cities was 1.64 per cent in Wuhan . Other cities such as Beijing and Chongqing saw month-on-month price gains of between 0.1 per cent and 1 per cent.

Still, average prices last month were 1.6 per cent lower than a year ago, the China Index Academy said.

Alfred Lau, a property analyst at Bocom International, said : "Our understanding from the developers and property agents is that August sales slowed down compared to July."

With a lot of stock on hand, many developers would be in a rush to launch their flats this month and next month to meet annual sales targets, he said.

"We do not expect developers will have much bargaining power to lift prices," he said.

In a survey conducted by Hong Kong-based Centaline Property Agency, 262,416 properties were sold in 54 selected cities last month, down 5.7 per cent month on month from July's 278,162 properties.

A joint venture formed by two agents - Jinfeng Real Estate and Youwin - said new-home sales volume in Shanghai fell 6.63 per cent month on month to 802,200 square metres last month.