China home price rises quicken, uptrend takes hold

Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:38pm EST
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BEIJING (Reuters) - China home prices showed fresh signs of recovery taking hold in November, the fourth month in the last five to show a rise as a two-year long government campaign to curb prices frays.

Average home prices in 70 major cities across China rose 0.3 percent in November from the previous month, after a 0.05 percent rise in October, according to Reuters' calculations from data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday.

Real estate, which directly impacts around 40 other business sectors in China, is a key driver in the world's second-largest economy, which is reviving from a lackluster third quarter.

The signs of a turn in property coincide with other November data published recently which showed industrial output and retail sales rising at their fastest annual pace in eight months, reinforcing views that growth in the fourth quarter will accelerate from the third quarter's 7.4 percent.

"The risk of tightening property curbs is accumulating due to rising home prices along with reviving economy and stabilizing investment," said Zhao Xinkui, a property analyst with Huarong Securities in Beijing.

A Reuters poll showed on Monday that economists expected a 7.0 percent increase in house prices in 2013 and a rise of 5.0 percent in 2014 due to a reviving economy and strong housing demand.

Home prices rose month-on-month in 53 of 70 major cities monitored by the NBS in November, up from 35 in October, confirming a trend of recovering property market, the NBS data showed.

The NBS also said new home prices in Beijing in November rose 0.7 percent from a year earlier, compared with October's year-on-year decline of 0.2 percent. Shanghai's price fall, meanwhile, eased to 0.8 percent in November on a year ago, versus a 1.3 percent annual fall in October.

China's annual policy-setting conference said on Sunday that Beijing would maintain property controls, including restrictions on how many homes individuals can buy.   Continued...