China State Researcher Sees Downside Risks in Property Sales

  • Curbs in some cities are limiting sales growth, Zhang says
  • China economy could expand by more than 6.5% in 2016: Zhang

There are downside risks for the China property market in the second quarter because of the tightening measures that have been reintroduced to some cities, a Chinese government researcher said. 

The curbs in first-tier cities are limiting property sales’ growth, Zhang Changcai, deputy director general at the Information Research Department of the State Council, said at a conference in Beijing Saturday.

Chinese authorities are seeking to stimulate the economy without fueling bubbles in the property market. Home sales in Shanghai, China’s financial hub, tumbled 60 percent in the week after the municipal government on March 25 unveiled a package of curbs, including stricter approval criteria for non-resident homebuyers and higher down-payment requirements for second homes. 

The second quarter will be a challenging period for developers because of the tightening in Shanghai and Shenzhen, as well as declining sales in second-tier markets, industry consultant E-House Co-president Ding Zuyu said in Shanghai on Friday.

The Financial Society of Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, a research unit under the local branch of the People’s Bank of China, last month asked commercial banks in the city to strengthen risk-control practices on household mortgage loans as property prices have soared, according to a statement obtained by Bloomberg News.

While the foundation for economic recovery is “still not solid,” it’s possible for China to achieve an annual growth rate higher than 6.5 percent this year, Zhang said.

— With assistance by Judy Chen

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