New homes prices rise again in May

PRICES of new residential properties rose again in China in May amid continuously improving sentiment among buyers, a report released today by the China Index Academy showed.

The average cost of new houses in 100 cities edged up 0.45 percent from a month earlier to 10,569 yuan (US$1,705) per square meter, the first month-over-month increase since February, the academy said.

Nationwide, 48 cities recorded monthly price growth, an increase of 9 from April. The rest 52 cities registered price falls, a decrease of 8 from a month earlier. beijing rent apartment

Among the country's 10 largest cities including Beijing and Shanghai, the average new home price rose nearly 1 percent from a month earlier to 19,148 yuan per square meter. That accelerated from a 0.12 percent month-on-month gain in April.

"The central bank's further cut in interest rate in May, favourable public housing fund policies introduced by some local governments, coupled with abundant new supply released by real estate developers, jointly fueled new home transactions in some cities," the academy said. "Looking forward, an overall rebound in residential property market has become quite evident now but high inventory still exists in some cities."

In Shanghai, for example, new home prices rose to a record in May amid robust sales, according to a separate industry report released today.

The average price of new houses, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, jumped 8.2 percent from April to 31,832 yuan per square meter last month, the highest ever registered in the city. The area of new homes sold, meanwhile, climbed 14.7 percent from a month earlier to 1.43 million square meters, the highest volume for May since 2010, Shanghai Deovolente Realty Co said.

"Medium- to high-end homes accounted for more than half of the transaction in May with 51 percent of new houses sold last month bearing a price tag of 25,000 yuan per square meter and above, pushing the average price to a record then," said Lu Qilin, a researcher at Deovolente. "That was an increase of 5.9 percentage points from April and a rise of 12.6 percentage points from same period a year ago."

On the supply side, 1.07 million square meters of new residential developments were released in the city last month, a rise of 6 percent from April, Deovolente data showed.