Housing market shows signs of cooling in Nov

Updated 2016-12-20 10:01:29 Global Times

Government may take further measures next year

The nation's red-hot property market showed signs of cooling in November following a flurry of local government measures to keep prices in check.

New home prices increased by 0.6 percent month-on-month in November, down from 1.1 percent in October as first- and second-tier cities in China experienced slowing price growth, according to a survey of 70 major cities released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday.

In first-tier cities, new home prices increased 0.1 percent month-on-month in November, down 0.4 percentage point from October, Liu Jianwei, an NBS statistician, wrote in a post on the bureau's website. In second-tier cities, month-on-month price growth slowed from 1.3 percent in October to 0.4 percent in November.

The figures show that government measures taken in October to curtail speculation are working, Yan Yuejin, research director of the E-house China R&D Institute, told the Global Times on Monday.

Given the monthly slowdown, new home prices in China's major cities grew 10.8 percent in November from a year earlier, decelerating from 12.3 percent in October, according to a research note from E-house China R&D Institute.

Prices in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province, fell 0.4 percent month-on-month in November, the largest drop among the 70 monitored cities.

The runaway property market in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province, showed more signs of cooling. Prices fell 0.3 percent in November after a 0.5 percent drop in October.

To cool local property markets, authorities from cities including Hangzhou and Shenzhen have been pumping up efforts such as increasing minimum down payment ratios since early October.

Xia Dan, a research fellow with the Bank of Communications, said more measures could be taken next year or at least in the first half of 2017 to "tightly control" the fast growth in the property market.

While solving property bubbles, reducing property inventory is also a tough battle that lies ahead, Xia told the Global Times Monday. "Therefore home prices in 2017 will continue growing, but at a slower pace under targeted cooling measures."

As of November, property inventory totaled nearly 6 billion square meters, suggesting a need for easing policies and regulations, Xia noted.

Experts have called for the rollout of nationwide property tax to regulate the market. Meanwhile, Sheng Songcheng, an advisor to the People's Bank of China commented during a meeting in Shanghai on Sunday that it would take many years to implement a property tax because to its complexity, said media reports.

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