Date
20 September 2017
Pedestrians walk down a street in Xiamen in this 2009 picture. Property prices in the city have been rising continually in recent months. Photo: Bloomberg
Pedestrians walk down a street in Xiamen in this 2009 picture. Property prices in the city have been rising continually in recent months. Photo: Bloomberg

Home-purchase curbs in 2nd-tier China cities seen staying

At least ten second-tier mainland cities, including Xiamen and Nanjing, are unlikely to be given the green light to relax their home-purchase restrictions this year, People’s Daily cited a property analyst as saying.

Zhang Dawei, principal analyst at Beijing Centaline Property Consultants, told the paper that he believes the speculation regarding the potential easing of the property curbs is unfounded.

The market has been rife with rumors that the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development has agreed to loosen home-purchase restrictions in second- and third-tier cities.

Zhang, however, pointed out that a survey released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on May 18 has shown that new home prices in Xiamen and Nanjing went up by 0.4 percent in April over the previous month, representing the highest increase among 70 cities surveyed.

In particular, Xiamen has led all other cities in terms of monthly increases over the last four consecutive months.

According to the China Index Academy, Xiamen’s average home price in April was 19,495 yuan (US$3,126) per square meter, which was higher than that of Guangzhou. An industry insider said that although there are some promotional activities, developers are not offering discounts in Xiamen, simply because the demand is still much larger than supply.

Qi Ji, vice minister of housing and urban-rural development, has said differential policies will be applied to different cities, and that there will be an emphasis on commodity flats and small-size apartments.

Developers in as many as 20 cities, including Guangzhou, Tianjin and Beijing, are said to be offering a “zero downpayment” scheme to attract prospective home buyers, in a bid to salvage a slumping market.

Markets in at least 30 cities had seen expectations build for an easing in home-purchase restrictions, the report noted.

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