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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Investors looking beyond Beijing to buy houses

BEIJING: Government figures show the trading volume of apartments in Beijing was down 50% on last year's figure, with counties neighbouring Beijing the new hotspots for property investors.

Property prices in Beijing have stabilised since last year, following the introduction of various policies to restrain soaring property prices, leaving speculators little room for earning. As a result, counties outside the capital have become a new target for investors.

“The demand for property in Beijing has now moved to neighbouring counties in Hebei province,” Li Wenjie, general manager for the North China region of property agency Centaline China, told China Daily.

In less than a year, the average property price in Chicheng, a poor county in Hebei province, almost doubled to more than 4,000 yuan (US$626) per sq m, according to Xinhua News Agency. “Housing prices have risen dramatically. How can we ordinary people afford them?” a local resident surnamed Guo, who makes about 1,000 yuan a month, told Xinhua.

In Dachang Hui autonomous county, also in Hebei province, housing prices are now between 4,000 and 5,000 yuan per sq m, compared with 3,000 yuan a year ago and in Zhuozhou city, housing prices have risen 2,000 yuan per sq m in the last two years.

Although real estate developers put prodigious faith in September sales, demand in Beijing did not surge as expected this year.

The total trading volume of the city's commodity housing in September was down 51% from a year earlier. The weak demand would continue in October and the price would be dragged down, said Zhang Yue, chief analyst with property agency Home Link.

By ANN/China Daily

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