China Home Price Growth Accelerates as Credit Growth Jumps

(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 damp buyer enthusiasm.

New home prices in 70 major cities, excluding state-subsidized housing, rose 0.56% last month, compared to a 0.47% gain in July, National Bureau of Statistics data released Monday showed. Values in the secondary market, which is largely free from government intervention, gained 0.34%, the fastest in more than a year.



a close up of a map: China home prices have rebounded steadily since the coronavirus outbreak


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China home prices have rebounded steadily since the coronavirus outbreak

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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.

“Local governments rolled out targeted measures in time to make sure ‘housing is not for speculation’,” the bureau’s chief statistician Kong Peng wrote in a statement along with the release, referring to President Xi Jinping’s slogan to ensure housing market stability.

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 Ltd.’s head of China economics Larry Hu said before the data release. “In the next few months, property sales may continue to recover.”

The rebound was especially strong across smaller cities, where property curbs are usually looser. Growth in 35 tier-3 cities was the fastest in 11 months.

In Shenzhen, the tech hub where residential prices surged the most in two years in the second quarter, existing-home values rose 1.1% last month, slightly slower than the previous month after the July curbs.

(Adds statistician comment in fourth paragraph, more price details.)

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