China home price growth accelerates as credit growth picks up

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) – China home-price growth accelerated in August after a brief slowdown the previous month as credit growth rebounded and wider property curbs did little to dampen buyer enthusiasm.

New home prices in 70 major cities, excluding state-subsidized housing, rose 0.56 per cent last month, compared to a 0.47 per cent gain in July, National Bureau of Statistics data released on Monday (Sept 14) showed. Values in the secondary market, which is largely free from government intervention, gained 0.34 per cent, compared with 0.26 per cent in July.

Policy makers have in recent months stepped up regulatory caution against developers’ leverage and excessive home-price growth, after frenetic buying spread from the country’s biggest cities to some booming regional centers. In August, cities including Nanjing and Wuxi followed Shenzhen in tightening home-purchase rules.

For now, a renewed fear of missing out on price increases and an urge to guard against anticipated inflation are sustaining housing demand. Credit growth rebounded more-than-expected in August as monetary-policy easing continues to take effect and support the recovery.

“So far, the property market is much stronger than our expectation,” Macquarie Securities’ head of China economics Larry Hu said before the data release. “In the next few months, property sales may continue to recover.”

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