Ur­ban hous­ing mar­ket di­verges

China Daily (USA) - - G20 2016 CHINA - ByWANG YIQING wangy­iqing@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

Real es­tate has re­mained one of the pil­lar in­dus­tries sup­port­ing China’s econ­omy this year, but the ever-in­creas­ing di­ver­gence be­tween the hous­ing mar­kets in var­i­ous cities has be­come a no­tice­able trend.

Due to fa­vor­able real es­tate-re­lated poli­cies and pos­i­tive changes in peo­ple’s ex­pec­ta­tions of the mar­ket, China’s real es­tate mar­ket has heated up rapidly since the be­gin­ning of the year.

And de­spite the slug­gish in­vest­ment in the real econ­omy, es­pe­cially in the pri­vate sec­tor, in­vest­ment in real es­tate main­tained high growth.

Ac­cord­ing to data from the Na­tional Bureau of Sta­tis­tics, the year-on-year growth rate of real es­tate in­vest­ment reached a high record of 7.2 per­cent from Jan­uary to April, while the year-on-year growth rate for 2015 was only 1 per­cent.

Even with the grad­ual slow­ing in re­cent months due to the in­tro­duc­tion of real es­tate poli­cies for that pur­pose, real es­tate in­vest­ment main­tained a 5.3 per­cent year-on-year growth from Jan­uary to July.

Hous­ing sales also warmed up in the past few months. House sales recorded dou­ble-digit growth year-on-year in the first seven months of 2016, while the growth rate was only 6.5 per­cent in 2015. From Jan­uary to July, the over­all na­tional hous­ing sales turnover in­creased 39.8 per­cent year-on-year, while the fig­ure was 14.4 per­cent in 2015.

The govern­ment’s bid to re­duce the real es­tate in­ven­tory there­fore made some progress. By the end of July, there was 713.82 mil­lion square me­ters of hous­ing for sale na­tion­wide, down by 4.71 mil­lion sq m since the end of 2015.

As the pres­sures from the eco­nomic down­turn and the im­ple­men­ta­tion of reg­u­la­tory poli­cies in var­i­ous cities are fur­ther felt, the real es­tate in­dus­try is ex­pected to ex­pe­ri­ence mod­er­ate but sta­ble growth over the next half year.

“We ex­pect hous­ing sales will re­main a com­par­a­tively high growth rate. House prices will ba­si­cally re­main sta­ble and real es­tate in­vest­ment will main­tain sta­ble growth in the sec­ond half of this year,” said Xu Kun­lin, deputy sec­re­tarygen­eral of the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion, in a news brief­ing on deep­en­ing in­vest­ment and fi­nanc­ing re­form on July 25.

How­ever, the hous­ing mar­ket trends in first- and fourth-tier cities di­verge re­mark­ably.

The Chi­nese Acad­emy of So­cial Sciences fore­cast in an in­terim re­port is­sued in July that po­lar­iza­tion of China’s real es­tate mar­ket will fur­ther in­ten­sify with hous­ing prices in first- and sec­ond-tier cities with good eco­nomic, trans­porta­tion and en­vi­ron­ment con­di­tions con­tin­u­ing to rise, while the hous­ing prices in the ma­jor­ity of thir­dand fourth-tier cities will in­crease only slightly and they will face great chal­lenges in re­duc­ing in­ven­tory.

“The real es­tate in­dus­try has stepped into a stage of dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion, ad­just­ment and op­ti­miza­tion,” said Sheng Laiyun, spokesman of the Na­tional Bureau of Sta­tis­tics at the me­dia brief­ing in July. “Lo­cal govern­ment’s poli­cies should be in ac­cor­dance with the ac­tual sit­u­a­tion of the lo­cal hous­ing mar­ket.”

The real es­tate in­dus­try has stepped into a stage of dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion, ad­just­ment and op­ti­miza­tion.” Sheng Laiyun, spokesman of Na­tional Bureau of Sta­tis­tics

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