China Home Price Gains Spread as Large Cities Lead Recovery

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Views Of Shenzhen Ahead Of China Property Price Numbers

Residential buildings stand illuminated in Shenzhen, China.

Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

Declines in China’s new-home prices were restricted to fewer than half of the cities monitored for the first time in 15 months as sales extended a rebound after authorities cut interest rates and eased property curbs.

Prices declined in 33 of the 70 cities in June from a month earlier, compared with 41 in May, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Saturday. Twenty-seven recorded increases, seven more than in the previous month, as first-tier centers including Shenzhen and Shanghai led a rebound. Prices were unchanged in 10.

The recovery has been driven by four interest-rate cuts since November and increased incomes as Chinese equities surged about 150 percent in the year to mid-June. While about $3 trillion of that wealth evaporated in less than a month as stocks subsequently plunged 20 percent, demand from owner-occupiers is forecast to sustain sales and prices in the longer term.

The stock market rout won’t shake the fundamentals of the property market, Alan Jin, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Mizuho Securities Co., said ahead of the data. “Housing prices and volume are firmly on a recovery trajectory,” Jin said.

Bigger Increases

New-home prices in the southern business hub of Shenzhen, which is leading the residential rebound, rose 7.1 percent from May and 15.7 percent from a year earlier. Prices gained 1.3 percent in Beijing and 1.5 percent in Guangzhou, both the most in almost two years, and 2 percent in Shanghai.

The increases overshot May’s numbers in 20 cites, the statistics authority said in a statement released with the data. Less affluent cities including Shenyang and Guiyang reversed declines.

The strength of the real-estate recovery will depend largely on the stability of the stock market in the second half, Du Jinsong, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG, said before the data release.

China eased mortgage policies and down-payment requirements for some homebuyers at the end of March, adding to easing measures since September to aid an industry that has been weighing on economic growth. While home sales jumped 13 percent in the first half of 2015, compared with a 9 percent decrease a year earlier, investment in property development slowed to 4.6 percent from 14.1 percent.

“The trend of polarization is still evident among different cities,” the statistics bureau said in Saturday’s statement, adding that demand was robust in first-tier cities while smaller centers struggled.

Existing-home prices rose in 42 cities last month, compared with 37 in May, Saturday’s data showed. On a year-on-year basis, new-home prices still fell in 68 cities in June, compared with 69 in May.

Average new-home prices in 100 cities tracked by SouFun Holdings Ltd., which owns China’s biggest property website, rose 0.56 percent in June from the previous month.

— With assistance by Emma Dong

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