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Friday, December 11, 2009

China property prices surge

HONG KONG: China’s property prices climbed last month at the fastest pace since July 2008, adding to concern that record lending may create asset bubbles in the world’s fastest growing major economy.

Residential and commercial real-estate prices in 70 major cities rose 5.7% from a year earlier, compared with a 3.9% increase in October, the National Bureau of Statistics said on its website yesterday. Prices of newly built homes rose 6.2% in November, accelerating from 4% the previous month, and second-hand housing prices rose 5.5%.

China yesterday issued policies to curb surging property sales amid record prices and after a pledge by Premier Wen Jiabao to support affordable housing. The government would curb “speculative” purchases to cool the residential housing market, the official Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday, citing National Development and Reform Commission chairman Zhang Ping.

“The November number shows that in some cities prices are growing very fast,” Alva To, Hong Kong-based head of consulting at North Asia at DTZ Holdings Plc, said in an interview yesterday. “For the whole country prices are still not overheating and that’s why government measures were specifically aimed at speculators.”

The country’s banking regulator planned to slow new lending to between seven trillion (US$1 trillion) and eight trillion yuan next year, versus 8.9 trillion yuan in the first 10 months of 2009, a person familiar with the matter said yesterday.

The measures may not be enough to curb further price gains next year, as supply growth was not keeping up with demand, analyst Wang Ren said.

“Inflationary concerns and ample liquidity will keep boosting home prices, especially when supply isn’t enough. Prices are likely to continue rising in the first half of next year,” a Hong Kong-based analyst at CCB International Co said before the data were announced.

A drop in new lending next year may not cut liquidity significantly given the record loans made in 2009, he added.

Shanghai’s index of property stocks was 0.5% lower at the midday break, after more than doubling this year, making the industry the second-best performer. The Shanghai Composite Index was little changed at the break.

In the latest Chinese data, price increases were led by the eastern cities of Hangzhou, Nanjing and Wenzhou, the statistics bureau said. — Bloomberg

Property sales by value jumped 86.8% to 3.6 trillion yuan in the first 11 months of the year. By floor area, sales rose 53% to 752 million sq m.

Investment in property development rose 17.8% in the first 11 months of 2009 from a year earlier to 3.13 trillion yuan, the statistics bureau said. That was an acceleration from the revised 16.6% for the 10 months through October and 9.9% in the six months to June.

By Bloomberg

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