Majority of Chinese cities report increasing housing prices in February, indicating property sector's revival
Published: Mar 16, 2023 03:19 PM
Citizens visit a property developer's sales office in Ningbo, East China's Zhejiang Province, on March 4, 2023. Photo: VCG

Citizens visit a property developer's sales office in Ningbo, East China's Zhejiang Province, on March 4, 2023. Photo: VCG

Inspired by the government's persistent measures to stimulate real estate sector rebound after the pandemic, more Chinese cities saw increase in the sale prices of residential housing in February, an official said on Thursday.

The overall price of residential housing in Chinese cities rose month-on-month, and the housing prices in the first-tier cities rose year-on-year, while previous price decline in the second- and third-tier cities narrowed, according to Sheng Guoqing, a senior statistician from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Among 70 large and medium-sized cities, 55 cities reported month-on-month price increases for new homes in February, 19 more than the previous month, while 40 cities recorded price increases for existing homes, up 27 from January, NBS data showed.

New home prices in the first-tier cities rose 0.2 percent month-on-month in February, maintaining the same pace as the previous month; while the sales price of existing housing rose 0.7 percent, 0.3 percentage points higher than in January.

As for the second-tier cities, the sales price of new homes rose 0.4 percent month-on-month, 0.3 percentage points higher than the previous month. And those in third-tier cities rose 0.3 percent in February, as compared to the 0.1 percent decline in the previous month.

The new homes price index in 70 cities rose 0.3 percent month-on-month and declined 1.9 percent year-on-year, Shanghai-based E-house China R&D Institute said.

The month-on-month data had previously recorded a 17-month continuous decline in December, starting from September 2021. These figures have flipped from negative to positive for the first time in February, fully reflecting momentum of the housing market recovery, Yan Yuejin, research director at Shanghai-based E-house China R&D Institute, told the Global Times on Thursday.

The number of cities reporting housing price increases rose significantly in February, up 55 from 36 in January. The broad scope of the increase showed that the sector is stabilizing and regaining momentum.

CITIC Securities noted that the recovery of China's property sector is "on the right path." Recovery will not happen overnight, but the credit and policy foundations for recovery are sound, said the company.

In an attempt to stimulate the property sector struggling with excessive leverage, China has rolled out a raft of supporting measures since last year, including a set of policy tools, which dubbed as "three arrows" to support real estate companies through three financing channels: credit, bonds and equity.

Local governments have also ramped up efforts to help debt-saddled firms to weather the storm and achieve sustainable growth.

 Global Times