China: Home Prices Decline

October 10th, 2011
in econ_news

Chinese-home-design-1 Econintersect: China’s tightening monetary policies have started to affect home prices. For the first time in a year home prices fell month-over-month in September. The decline was a miniscule 0.03% decline from August. That is an annualized rate of 0.4% and is dwarfed by the year-over-year increase of 6.15%. Data was reported by China Index Academy and was collected from 100 major cities across the country. Prices rose in 54 cities and fell in 44 in September from a month earlier. The fact that prices fell from August to September in 2010 as well brings into question whether seasonality factors contributed to the decline.

Follow up:

Homes are not cheap in China’s 100 major cities. The Shanghai Daily reports that the average price is $130 per square foot. This is not radically different from the price of homes averaged across many mid-scale custom-built residential communities in America. Compared to average family income, however, the price of homes is much higher in China. According to Forbes, the average family income in China is $10,222 and in the U.S. $84,300. That makes $130 per square foot in China equivalent to almost $1,100 in the U.S. We’re talking about real “high rent district” rates here.

The data for the 10 largest Chinese cities shows homes cost about 1.78X the 100 city average, or a little more than $231 per square foot. The month-over-month prices were little changed and the year-over-year prices rose 3.45%.

From Shanghai Daily:

"The first monthly decline in a year actually indicates that central government's continuing rein-in efforts to fight runaway home prices are taking effect and very likely September might be a turning point," said real estate economist Xie Yifeng. "With tightening measures remaining in force, more real estate developers are prone to offer price cuts so as to trigger sales and replenish capital."

During the last three months of this year, home prices around the country would most likely stay stable or decline a little, Xie said.

"No significant price drops should be anticipated as demand from buyers seeking house upgrading will still be robust. Moreover, expectation of high inflation risk through next year continues to dominate the general public."

In Shanghai, for instance, sales of new homes, excluding affordable housing, fell to a six-month low of 570,600 square meters in September, Shanghai Uwin Real Estate Information Services Co said. Average prices, meanwhile, were 22,605 yuan per square meter, up 3.62 percent from August and an increase of 6.5 percent from same time a year earlier, Uwin data showed.

Sources: Shanghai Daily and Forbes

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