China's housing market underpinned by young buyers and urbanisation

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 October, 2013, 5:14am

Strong demand by end-users has continued to support steady growth in mainland home prices and is set to do so for the next two to three years, defying measures to hose down the market, analysts predict.

There will be little decline in price pressures until there are changes in the country's demographics and a slowdown in the rate of urbanisation - unlikely to occur until after 2017.

End-users accounted for about 80 per cent of the deals since 2012, with many of them graduates now in their late 20s, according to investment bank Jefferies.

Jefferies quoted National Bureau of Statistics data that showed this segment has soared from 1 million in 2005 to 5.6 million this year.

This group's demand has boosted the number of transactions and defied curbs such as restrictions on the number of properties that mainlanders can buy.

Prices of new homes in 66 of the 70 large and medium-size cities surveyed rose in August, spurred by strong demand, according to bureau statistics.

Research institute China Real Estate Index System reported that the average price for new homes in the 100 cities it monitors increased for the 16th consecutive month in September, up 1.1 per cent month-on-month to 10,554 yuan per square metre.

"We estimate the growth of the number of people aged 28 with a college degree will slow down to single digits in 2015 (from 20 per cent in 2012)," Jeffries said. As a result residential demand should maintain strong growth in the next two to three years, flatten out in 2016- 2017 and slide from 2019.

Urbanisation, a major source of support for the nation's housing market, will also slow down after hitting a peak in 2017, according to research institute China Real Estate Information Corp.