New home prices in China grew at quickest pace in eight-month in April – ET RealEstate

BEIJING: New home prices in China grew at the fastest pace in eight months in April, data showed on Monday, despite the government’s ramped-up efforts to tame the market and tackle an alarming build-up in debt.

Average new home prices in 70 major cities grew 0.6% in April from a month earlier, the quickest pace since August 2020 and a notch up from a 0.5% gain in March, according to Reuters calculations based on data released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

On a year-on-year basis, growth in new home prices rose to an eight-month high of 4.8%, compared with 4.6% in March.

First- and second-tier cities continued leading monthly price growth, with new home prices in those cities rising an average of 0.6% month-on-month in April, the NBS said in a statement accompanying the data.

Among those, Chongqing Municipality and Guangzhou city are top contributors to the strength.

“Local governments have become more surgical in their management of the housing market, unlike previous sweeping crackdowns, thus home buying demand for living in or for investment in big cities hasn’t been fully crowded out,” said Lu Wenxi, chief analyst with property agency Centaline.

With more smaller cities imposing tightening measures, the advantage of being in a “policy vacuum” had gone, and purchasing power had returned to bigger cities, he added. He also expected home prices in tier-1 and 2 cities to keep climbing, outperforming lower-tier towns.

Real estate, a vital source of growth for China‘s economy, has bounced back quickly from the COVID-19 crisis. But a relentless rise in home prices in big cities, which is now spilling over into nearby smaller ones, has raised concerns about overheating.

The month saw authorities in a dozen cities intensify their campaigns to drive speculators out of the property market, using incremental tools rather than sweeping curbs. Local policies include capping prices set by developers and preventing some real estate agencies from setting excessively high second-hand home prices.

The NBS data showed 62 cities reported monthly gains, unchanged from the tally in March.

China’s leaders last month vowed to boost the supply of rental housing and affordable public housing, and prevent speculation in various property markets including school district homes.

Separate NBS figures showed China’s real estate investment rose 21.6% in the first four months of the year, slowing from 25.6% in the first quarter, amid increased scrutiny of developers to prevent rampant debt growth.

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Kerala coastal zone authority sends draft to local bodies for discussion – ET RealEstate

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KOCHI: The Kerala coastal zone management authority (KCZMA) has sent the draft Coastal Zone Management Plans (CZMP) to local bodies for discussion.

CZMP 2019 have been prepared by the national centre for earth science studies (NCESS) for seven districts Kannur, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Thrissur, Ernakulam, Alappuzha and Kottayam.

The draft was prepared using the 1:25,000 scale map by identifying and classifying the coastal zone regulation (CRZ) areas within the respective territories in accordance with the CRZ notification 2019.

The report says that the CZMP database, scrutinized by the technical scrutiny committee and finalized by the national centre for sustainable coastal management (NCSCM), shall be used as the base for revision or updation of the existing CZMP.

The reports were presented before KCZMA last month.

According to KCZMA minutes, a detailed discussion on demarcation of islands and status of mangroves was also held.

Members opined that the absence of an integrated island management plan (IIMP) in the CZMP should be clarified with the environment ministry through the NCESS before initiation of public consultation process.

The criteria required for preparation of IIMP for smaller islands will also be included in the clarification, according to KCZMA minutes.

The draft plans are being prepared for nine coastal districts and some parts of Kottayam.

In the letter dated April 22, the local governments have been asked to discuss with the public and other stakeholders and reply within two weeks.

However, there is concern that the report could get published without proper discussions, especially in Ernakulam, which had seen pulling down of four residential apartment buildings in Maradu and a restaurant in Aluva following the Supreme Court orders.

โ€œWith such Covid conditions, how can this report be discussed in two weeks. The deadline is already over. We hope that the final report will be published considering the responses, comments and suggestions given by the stakeholders in the respective areas,โ€ said advocate Sherry Thomas, secretary, Kerala Latin catholic association (KLCA).

KLCA has written to the chief minister seeking extension of the time given by KCZMA to the local bodies.

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Rajasthan housing department fixes norms to ensure homes for poor – ET RealEstate

JAIPUR: The urban development and housing (UDH) department has tightened its noose around those developers who are hesitant to provide houses to the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) and Lower Income Group (LIG) in their schemes as per the mandatory norms.

Now, it will not be easy for developers in the state to not construct houses for the EWS and LIG in their schemes. As per the township policy rules, builders or developers launching a group housing scheme or high-rises must construct houses for EWS and LIG categories. Till date, no project has been cancelled and developers who have defaulted have not initiated construction.

Sources said, developers had shown apprehension to construct houses for the poor on premium land and in schemes. Following this, relaxation was provided to construct houses for EWS and LIG category on some other project land. However, many have not adhered to the policy. After the new rules, developers cannot construct EWS and LIG houses at distant locations.

An official said, the civic body provides relaxation in land conversion, building map approval and other charges to developers for constructing houses for EWS and LIG category. In return, the private builders have to develop schemes and invite applications through lottery in the presence of representatives of local bodies. โ€œIf a developer was constructing apartments in a posh locality, then he would provide houses to EWS and LIG sections in far-flung areas. However, as per new rules, it would be mandatory to provide houses in 800 metre periphery of the main project,โ€ said the official.

After receiving several complaints, the Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) also constituted a panel of chartered accountants to audit the houses and plots constructed under various provisions of the Chief Minister Jan Awaas Yojana.

The zone commissioners were directed to monitor the houses and plots constructed under the scheme. Strict rules were framed after it was observed that many developers are not constructing houses.

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London office market undergoes makeover to woo post-pandemic workforce – ET RealEstate

BENGALURU: Developers in London are revamping office spaces to suit the post-pandemic workforce, a survey showed on Monday, as weakening demand for workspaces poses a major concern in one of the world’s biggest financial hubs.

New construction starts have jumped by a fifth in the six months ended March to 3.1 million square feet, Deloitte‘s London Office Crane Survey showed, with 56% of the pipeline expected to involve an extensive upgrade of existing office stock.

Lockdowns since early last year have forced millions of people to work from home, but easing restrictions are driving companies to chart a return with less hot desking, more room and better health regulations.

“Occupiers’ needs are shifting and buildings that meet their ESG principles while taking into account the welfare of their people are top of mind. Grade A, well-connected and eco-friendly office spaces, designed to maximise the benefits of new ways of working, will be the most desirable,” said Mike Cracknell, director in real estate at Deloitte.

The survey showed 4.5 million square feet of development has been delivered between October 2020 and March 2021, the highest level of completions in 18 years. In a sign of less speculative building, 59% of that was pre-let.

The survey also showed that the share of Technology, Media and Telecoms (TMT) pre-lets in all space under construction increased to 40%, reaffirming the importance of the TMT sector in the London leasing market.

Still, many companies have embraced work-from-home as a cost effective and flexible option that is here to stay, hurting demand for work spaces in London.

The city’s developers anticipate new working patterns to reduce office demand on average by 10% to 15% in terms of square footage.

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