China new home prices increase in May
Published from News 24
China’s new home prices increased in May for the first time in four months, a survey showed Monday, as effects of Beijing’s loosening policies to boost the market kick in.
The average price of a new home in China’s 100 major cities rose 0.5% month on month to 10 569 yuan ($1 696) per square metre, the China Index Academy (CIA) said in a report.
Prices had been falling since February and the increase was stronger than a 0.21% gain in January, which came after eight straight months of declines.
“Looking ahead the property market overall shows a warming trend, but some cities still see inventory pressures and the supply and demand is still tense,” the CIA said in the statement.
China’s property market has been in the doldrums for more than a year as expansion in the world’s second-largest economy slows.
Authorities have taken steps to support the industry as real estate investment remains a key driver for the economy, while land sales are a major source of revenue for cash-strapped local governments.
The central People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has cut benchmark interest rates three times since November, and eased mortgage policies in September.
In late March it lowered minimum down payment levels on second homes nationwide, rolling back a four-year-old policy first introduced to rein in soaring prices that were making home ownership unaffordable for many and raising worries over social unrest.
It also shortened the ownership period during which sellers are liable to a 20% capital gains tax on properties other than their main home.
China’s economy grew 7.4% last year, the weakest rate in nearly a quarter of a century, and more recent indicators have pointed to the frailty extending into the current quarter.
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