China Home Prices Rose To Highest This Year In August, Cooling Measures More Likely

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China Yuan
Real estate is one of the drivers of the Chinese economy, which has been slowing of late.

A survey of the average prices of new homes in 70 Chinese cities in August shows home prices are at their highest so far this year, according to the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics. Fresh, sustainable measures to tame soaring prices are likely in the future.

In Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, China’s largest cities, home prices in August clocked increases of 18 to 19 percent year-on-year, a bigger jump than in previous months. Overall in China, new home prices in August increased 8.3 percent vs. the same period last year, up from the 7.5 percent year-on-year increase in July.

The latest statistics have prompted some economists to call for property taxes and other measures to cool the housing market, but thus far the government has been unwilling to enact more limits beyond the existing ones on second-home purchases, as the real estate sector has been a key driver of growth amid China’s current stagnating economy.

Growth in median home prices in the cities also accelerated in August for the seventh straight month after a turnaround in January.

Prices of new homes rose in 66 of the 70 cities surveyed in August from July, fell in two, and remained level in the rest. Compared to August 2012, prices rose in 69 of those cities.

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