Price rises for new Chinese homes slow in July

Official figures show fewer cities saw prices rise in the month compared with June. Shanghai sees 1.4pc growth, against 2.4pc the previous month

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 August, 2016, 4:06pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 August, 2016, 11:00pm

Price rises for new homes slowed in Chinese cities for the third consecutive month in July, as a market rally in the first half lost momentum and several second-tier city authorities imposed tightened buying conditions.

Of the 70 cities surveyed in the month, 51 saw new home prices climb month on month, down from 55 in the previous month, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Thursday.

Sixteen cities saw new prices decline month on month, up from 10 in June.

In Shanghai prices rose 1.4 per cent, down from 2.4 per cent in June, while in Beijing prices advanced 1.7 per cent, cooling off from a 2.3 per cent gain in June.

The fastest monthly expansion occurred in Xiamen, where prices gained 4.6 per cent.

“First-tier cities saw narrowed growth, as did a few second-tier cities that had previously seen excessive price growth,” said Liu Jianwei, an economist at the NBS.

Both trends followed a cooling down of investment and sales in July.

Real estate investment growth in the first seven months dropped to 5.3 per cent, from 6.1 per cent in the first six months, earlier NBS data showed.

First-tier cities saw narrowed growth, as did a few second-tier cities that had previously seen excessive price growth
Liu Jianwei, economist at the National Bureau of Statistics

Housing sales growth by volume also cooled from 27.9 per cent in the first half to 26.4 per cent in the first seven months. The growth in the number of new housing starts fell 13.7 per cent in the period, from 14.9 per cent growth in the first half.

Last week, the eastern cities of Nanjing and Suzhou, that had reported rapid price climbs in the first half, introduced tightening policies to rein in the overheated market. They followed similar moves by the authorities in Hefei and Xiamen.

The measures include the raising of down payments for mortgages on second home purchases, and a tightening of requirements for property developers when bidding for land and pre-sold properties.

After the measures were introduced in July in Xiamen, sales slumped by 75 per cent in the first half of August, according to figures from Centerline Property, and in Nanjing they fell 42 per cent.

The month-on-month gain in Nanjing moderated to 3.6 per cent from 4 per cent in June, and in Hefei tempered to 4.2 per cent from 4.9 per cent in June.