business

China Home Sales Rose to All-Time High Last Month Despite Curbs

  • Sales stood at 1.4 trillion yuan in December, up 21% on year
  • Home price growth also picked up pace, data showed earlier

Residential buildings in Shanghai

Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

China’s home sales surged to a record high last month, despite a prolonged government campaign to curb property speculation.

Sales by value, excluding affordable housing, jumped to a record 1.45 trillion yuan ($225 billion) in December, gaining 21 percent at the fastest pace in six months, according to Bloomberg calculations based on data released Thursday by the National Bureau of Statistics. Earlier today, home price data pointed to a similar acceleration.

The upswing comes even as officials have sought to tame resurgent buying sentiment in a market that’s seen home prices skyrocket. The resurgence defies predictions that China’s property market will slow amid China’s moves to tackle excessive leverage and maintain curbs on purchases. Last year, analysts forecast that home sales will decline in 2018, marking the first drop since 2014.

Earlier on Thursday, government data showed that new-home prices, excluding government-subsidized housing, rose in 57 of 70 cities in December, compared with 50 in November.

Buoyant transaction volumes and higher contracted sales have fueled a rally for property stocks since the start of the year. Real estate is the second-best performing industry on MSCI Inc.’s gauge of offshore Chinese shares in January.

— With assistance by Emma Dong

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