China Jan. Home Prices Rise 9.6%, Signals Stabilization, Shows First Ease In 14 Months

  on February 23 2014 11:43 PM
China home prices
A man walks past a drilling well for terrene exploration in front of newly built residential buildings on a hazy day in Wuhan, Hubei province Nov. 22, 2013. Reuters/Stringer

The rate of increase in China's new home prices eased in January, pointing to more stabilization in the country's property market.

Average new home prices in China’s 70 major cities climbed 9.6 percent in January from a year earlier, easing from December’s 9.9 percent rise. It was the first time in 14 months that the country's home price rises eased, and the most recent sign that the government's four-year-plus campaign to rein in property risk may finally be working.

In month-on-month terms, prices climbed 0.4 percent in last month, just as they did in December, according to Reuters calculations of official data that was released Monday .

Data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics revealed that new home prices in Shanghai were up an annual 17.5 percent, compared with 18.2 percent in December, while Beijing prices climbed 14.7 percent in January from a year earlier, versus 16 percent in the month before.

Price increases in China's property has eased since late 2013, signaling that tightening measures by local governments, such as raising minimum down payments for second homes and vowing to supply more land for the building of residential properties, may be working.

Meanwhile, China's home prices are at record highs and nowhere near the reach of most ordinary citizens, which suggests that Beijing is still not about to let up anytime soon on the tightening measures it has been carrying out.

The Shanghai Composite fell on the news -- down 2 percent by late morning, with developers like Vanke leading the losses, according to CNBC. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 1 percent.

Also weighing on sentiment were reports by the local media stating that some banks have begun to tighten loans to sectors such as property-related industries, Reuters reported, adding that a few banks issued denials.

 

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