China’s home prices are expected to grow faster this year than anticipated a few months earlier fueled by easy liquidity and hot demand in major cities, despite Beijing’s heightened cooling measures, a Reuters poll revealed.
As China’s economy recovers from the coronavirus shock, authorities have stepped up restrictions on the property industry to guard against financial risks as concerns mount over speculative behavior in some parts of the market. Nonetheless, home prices extended a rising streak in recent months with heat spilling over into some smaller towns from metropolises.
According to eleven analysts and economists surveyed by Reuters, average residential property price growth is estimated to grow 5% in 2021.
The forecast topped a 3.3% gain tipped in a February survey, and slightly higher than around 4.9% gain in 2020. Home prices are seen slowing to 3% in the first half of 2022.
Despite stepped-up market curbs, prices are on a rising trajectory, said Huang Yu, vice president of China Index Academy, a Beijing-based property research institute. She said climbing land prices are also expected to buoy housing prices.
Muted prices in tier-3 and 4 cities were likely to drag down overall gains, said Zhao Ke, analyst at China Merchants Securities.
Chinese authorities have since this year intensified their efforts to rein in the relentless rise in home prices and drive speculators out of the market. Local policies include capping prices set by developers and preventing some real estate agencies from setting excessively high second-hand home prices. Banks in major cities also hiked mortgage rates.
Property sales volume is expected to be flat from last year, unchanged from the previous poll, and versus a 2.6% gain in 2020.
Housing investments are estimated to rise 7% this year, in line with the pace in 2020, and marginally higher than 6.4% in the February poll.
China Merchants Securities’ Zhao said:”We expect new construction investment to revive in the third quarter on fast work resumption and rising raw material prices.”
China Index Academy’s Huang noted that “home project construction investment will be the major pillar of overall property investment, which will also be likely driven by rental housing construction.”