China’s home prices extend gains in March, defy renewed curbs: Survey – ET RealEstate

BEIJING: China‘s monthly new home prices maintained steady growth in March, while the resale housing market also saw an uptick, despite a renewed crackdown on property speculation, a private-sector survey showed on Thursday.

New home prices in 100 cities rose 0.2% in March from a month earlier, unchanged from February’s pace, according to data from China Index Academy, one of the country’s largest independent real estate research firms.

More cities reported monthly gains, with the number up to 76 from 66 in February, while 23 cities posted lower home prices compared with 27 in the preceding month.

In another sign of strong demand, growth in second-hand home prices quickened to 0.44% in March from previous month, compared with 0.28% in February.

“We saw a jump in supply of new housing projects in major cities, as developers sped up sales in March, which is a traditionally a peak season,” said China Index Academy Research Director Cao Jingjing.

Cao also noted Guangzhou and Chongqing saw strong residential property markets, while demand in the northern cities of Taiyuan and Tianjin waned.

Authorities have maintained a tight grip on the sector, with measures ranging from stepped-up scrutiny on illegal flows of funds to fixed price references for secondary market financing in some cities.

The government has also vowed to boost residential land supply to contain fast-rising home prices.

In a whack-a-mole clampdown, the southern capital city of Nanchang was last week ordered to revoke its easing policies one day after their release, as policymakers remained vigilant to any bubbles.

China’s land sales by volume rose 11% in the first quarter from a year earlier, CIA data showed.

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Beijing to boost land supply for rental properties – ET RealEstate

BEIJING: China‘s capital Beijing will increase the proportion of land supply for rental properties to 30% this year from 13% in 2020, official media reported, in a bid to improve housing affordability as the city’s home prices remain sky-rocketed.

The move follows call from China’s top leaders who vowed to focus on the development of rental housing markets to help solve a housing problem in big cities.

It also comes as a wave of frenzied home buying in China’s bigger cities that has pushed up prices, prompting local authorities to take steps to rein in the market.

The city will also speed up rental housing supply by renovating existing buildings to make them suitable for rental homes to help stabilise home prices and market expectations, the Beijing Daily reported on Tuesday, citing the local government land supply plan.

The total land supply for residential housing in 2021 will increase by 60 hectares from last year, it said.

The government will also guide new plots of residential use of land to locate near railway stations.

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China’s Shandong to scrap urban residency curbs – ET RealEstate

BEIJING: China‘s second most populous province of Shandong will scrap residency rules to ease a move to cities by those living in rural areas, official media said on Thursday, in an effort to boost consumption and unleash a new driver of growth.

The news came just a week after the southern province of Jiangxi became China’s first to entirely free up the limits on city dwelling, saying it would let out-of-towners get urban residency permits.

Now eastern Shandong, which has about 100 million people, plans to free up such curbs and scrap other conditions limiting access to permits in cities, media backed by the provincial government said, citing a briefing by provincial authorities.

They did not give a timeline, however.

China’s urbanisation rate was more than 60% by the end of 2020, official data show.

The new changes are in line with nationwide reforms to gradually scrap household permits in cities, thus narrowing income disparities between the two groups and stimulating private consumption.

Since the 1950s, China has used such permits, known as “hukou”, to control internal migration, to allay government concerns about the sustainability of urban resources.

But the permits have been widely criticised for impeding the movement of labour and widening the divide between urban and rural dwellers. They also limit home ownership and benefits for out-of-towners working in cities.

Economists say relaxing such controls would help ease labour shortages in cities, and an influx of rural workers will bring a boost in urban consumption, particularly through purchases of homes.

About 38.5% of Shandong’s population have rural residency permits, including some who work in its cities, or elsewhere. Its population is eclipsed only by that of the southern province of Guangdong.

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Shenzhen issues draft guidelines to boost supply of rental properties – ET RealEstate

BEIJING: The city of Shenzhen has issued draft guidelines to aimed at increasing the supply of rental properties in China‘s high tech hub.

Land plots will be set aside for builders and existing building will be renovated to make them suitable for rental homes, the housing authorities said on its website on Monday.

The city will also gradually grant tenants and homeowners equal rights to public services including access to residential permits and education.

The move comes as a wave of real estate buying in China’s biggest cities has pushed up prices, prompting local authorities to take steps to rein in the market.

The Shenzhen government also said it will strengthen supervision on rental income and deposits collected by home leasing companies to prevent financial risks from the misuse of funds or illegal withholding of deposits by those platforms.

Separately, Beijing on Tuesday also said it will impose tighter regulations on home leasing firms, in a bid to curb financial risks in the sector following a slew of forced evictions due to financial distress.

In December, China’s top leaders vowed to focus on the development of rental housing markets to help solve a housing problem in big cities, where home prices remain elevated.

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