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As expected, China property bubble reinflates

2 min read
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The government may be putting a lid on it, but if China‘s housing market was a metaphorical “soup de jour”, it is back to boil over.

Property prices are rising in 53 out of 70 cities surveyed by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in January.

Twenty-five cities in November and 12 in October experienced a price hike on a yearly basis, indicating a rally in the housing market.

4.7 % average increase

The average price increase in those cities was 4.7%, up from last month’s 2.4% rise in property prices for new homes, the NBS figures showed.

“Despite measures to cool property market speculation, housing demand still grew steadily in the second half of 2012, resulting in a rebound in prices, and this trend is continuing into early 2013,” Mark Budden, China manager of property consulting firm EC Harris told China Daily.

The usual suspects – BeijingShanghai and Guangzhou – led the ongoing spike in housing prices. New home prices in Beijing rose by 3.3% from January 2012 and are up 1.6% from December levels. Guangzhou prices rose 2% on the year and 4.7% from December, with Shanghai roughly following suit.

Housing one of the most popular investments

The government has been trying to curb property speculation by making it harder for second time home buyers to acquire property. Housing is one of the most popular investments of the Chinese middle class and elite. Rising housing costs in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou have exacerbated the problem of rising inequality in China, as the major city centres become unaffordable to many middle class and lower-middle class Chinese.

Tony Simon

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