Harvey Blackwood: China Property Prices Increase

Harvey Blackwood: China's property market continues to expand even as the government implements measures to curb speculative buying.

Growth in China’s property market increased slightly last month as minor declines in larger cities stabilized and prices in smaller metropolises gained more momentum. Price growth declined by more than 50 percent last year as government-imposed restrictions on speculation were implemented.

In December, new home prices increased 5.3 percent from 2016, higher than the 5.1 percent increase from the previous month but well behind the 12.4 percent growth in 2016 as the government attempted to create a soft landing for the property market.

According to Shanghai, China-based Harvey Blackwood analysts, average new home prices in China’s 70 biggest cities increased 0.4 percent in last month from November, hitting a five-month high after growth stabilized for the second month in a row.

Harvey Blackwood analysts believe marginally higher prices reported from outside the big cities could be attributed to an increase in supply as housing developers sought to meet sales targets in spite of government price caps, as the year drew to a close.

A Harvey Blackwood analyst stated that the government financial policies had placed greater liquidity pressure on certain Chinese developers, adding that many developers were beginning to realize that the restrictive measures could last longer than initially anticipated.

China’s property market has expanded significantly since 2015, causing more than 100 metropolises to implement regulations to restrict speculative purchasing. Chinese President Xi Jinping stated that houses are built to be lived in and not for speculation.

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Source: Harvey Blackwood