Home Sales Double in Beijing on Rate Cuts, Centaline Says

Beijing home sales in August surged 110 percent from a year earlier driven by first-home buyers after the central bank cut interest rates and signs of a price rebound damped expectations for cheaper housing.

A total 28,753 new and existing homes were sold in the Chinese capital in a “traditionally weak month,” 1.2 percent lower than an 18-month high recorded in July, Centaline Property Agency Ltd. said in a report e-mailed today.

China’s new home prices rose for a third month in August, adding to evidence of a rebound in sentiment as the government signaled property curbs are working to stabilize prices, SouFun Holdings Ltd., the country’s biggest real estate website owner, said yesterday. Expectations for rising sales are “strong” this month and next, traditionally the big season for Chinese developers, according to the Centaline.

“As the property market enters the ‘golden September and silver October,’ developers are optimistic about sales going forward,” Centaline, China’s biggest real-estate brokerage, said in the report. Still, “home buyers’ willingness to buy is wavering given expectations for price gains and banks vowing strict stance on mortgage discounts.”

Almost 66 percent of the top 100 residential projects monitored by Centaline in Beijing raised prices this year, which led to a 26 percent decline in sales, according to the report.

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