China’s new home prices rose in all but two cities last month, with housing values accelerating in key centers including Beijing and Shanghai as buyers defied the government’s latest round of property measures.
Prices climbed in 68 of the 70 cities the government tracked last month from a year earlier, the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement yesterday. The same number of cities posted gains in March, the most since September 2011.
Thirty-five provincial-level cities have issued details of property curbs by an April 1 deadline in response to the central government’s measures imposed in March.
Only the capital city of Beijing issued the toughest measures, raising the down payment on second homes and strictly enforcing a 20 percent capital gains tax on existing homes, according to Centaline Property Agency Ltd, the country’s biggest real estate agency.
“Home prices continued to climb because the direct impact of the curbs is hitting on home sales, while it’ll take several more months to slow the prices,” said Lan Shen, a Shanghai-based economist at Standard Chartered PLC.
The southern business city of Guangzhou recorded the biggest increase at 14 percent from a year earlier, and those in Beijing jumped 10 percent. Home prices in Shanghai climbed 8.5 percent, and all the cities that recorded gains had their biggest advances since the government changed its methodology for the data in January 2011.
China switched from reporting one average price for the nation to those for 70 cities it tracked at the start of 2011.
The biggest decline in new home prices last month was in Wenzhou, where they fell 5.7 percent from a year earlier, data showed.
Existing home prices rose 11 percent in Beijing last month from a year ago and those in Shanghai increased 8.5 percent, according to the data. They climbed 8.6 percent in Guangzhou and 7.3 percent in Shenzhen, both located in southern China near Hong Kong.
Private data have also shown price gains are accelerating. Last month’s home prices jumped 5.3 percent from a year earlier, the biggest increase since housing costs ended eight months of declines in December, according to SouFun Holdings Ltd (搜房網), the nation’s biggest real-estate Web site owner.
While China’s home prices continued to climb from a year ago, analysts including Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd’s Alan Jin said the increases slowed from March.
Home prices increased in 67 cities last month from a month ago, compared with 68 in March. Housing values in Beijing rose 1.4 percent last month from a month ago, compared with 2.1 percent in March, while those in Shanghai added 1.7 percent last month from 2.7 percent in March.
Home sales transaction value fell 13 percent last month from the previous month as the new property curbs started to take effect, the statistics bureau reported on May 13.