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China’s home price growth moderates in June

Updated: Jul 18,2016 10:48 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s property sector continued to recover but at a slower pace in June, with fewer cities reporting month-on-month rises in new home prices, an official survey showed on July 18.

Of 70 large and medium-sized cities surveyed in June, 55 saw new home prices climb month on month, down from 60 the previous month, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.

Meanwhile, 10 cities reported month-on-month price declines, up from four in May, according to the NBS data.

On a yearly basis, 57 cities posted new-home price increases and 12 reported falls in June, compared with 50 and 18 in May.

New-home prices soared 47.4 percent year on year in the southern city of Shenzhen, the sharpest increase in June among all the major cities. However, the growth was milder than the 54 percent jump registered in May.

Prices in the top-tier cities of Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou rose 33.7 percent, 22.3 percent, and 19.4 percent year on year, respectively.

The northeastern city of Jinzhou saw the steepest price decline of 3.5 percent over a year earlier.

Overall, home-price growth has slowed, with the average month-on-month increase for new homes narrowing 0.1 percentage points and that for existing homes contracting 0.2 percentage points, according to NBS senior statistician Liu Jianwei.

Both top-tier cities and smaller cities saw milder month-on-month growth in June than in May, and the year-on-year growth also eased, Liu said.

For existing homes, 48 cities reported month-on-month price increases in June and 14 reported lower prices, compared with 49 and 13 in May.

On July 15, NBS data also showed that property investment and sales in the first half lost momentum from the first five months, but destocking has made new progress.

Property investment rose 6.1 percent year on year in the first half, down from 7 percent in the January-May period, according to NBS. Meanwhile, property sales jumped 27.9 percent in terms of floor area, slower than the 33.2-percent gain in the first five months.

The housing market started to recover in the second half of 2015 after cooling for more than a year, boosted by government support, which included interest rate cuts and lower deposit requirements.

The sector’s recovery, however, has been uneven from city to city, with economically-strong areas reporting drastic price rises, and less developed areas still reporting huge inventories of unsold houses.

The contrasting picture has prompted local authorities to take different approaches: Shenzhen and Shanghai have tightened policies to curb speculative purchases and contain bubble risks, while third- and fourth-tier cities are exploring new ways to spur sales.

China’s GDP expanded 6.7 percent year on year in the second quarter, steady from the first quarter.

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