Date
23 September 2017
A man walks into a property agency in China. Home sales are showing signs of recovery even as prices slipped again in October. Photo: Bloomberg
A man walks into a property agency in China. Home sales are showing signs of recovery even as prices slipped again in October. Photo: Bloomberg

China property market stirring back to life

China may have seen the worst of the property slump even as home prices suffered their biggest annual fall in nearly four years in October.

Property sales, investment and construction are showing early signs of recovery, Reuters reported Thursday.

The housing market is still vulnerable and could sag again if policy support fades, Australia’s central bank said this week, but some homebuyers, brokers and developers are confident a shift is under way.

After home prices powered to record highs in four of the five years from 2009, the market sagged this year as Beijing tried to calm prices with controls such as lending restraints and limits on multiple purchases.

Prices have fallen in each of the past six months, to be down nearly 4 percent from an all-time peak hit in April. In annual terms, prices fell 2.6 percent in October.

That has seen policymakers beat a hasty retreat on some measures. Mortgage rates and down payment levels were cut in September for the first time since the 2008-09 global financial crisis.

Their efforts may be paying off.

The monthly fall in prices moderated to a four-month low of 0.8 percent in October. The slide in mortgage demand also eased. Loans were down 4.3 percent in the first 10 months of 2014, after a 4.9 percent drop between January and September, the report said.

“Before October, it was hard to persuade people to view houses,” said a broker at Lianjia Real Estate in Beijing. “Now, many are willing, and they decide to buy really quickly if they like the homes.”

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