New housing prices in China rise as activity picks up

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BEIJING – Housing prices in China accelerated in March from the previous month, as business activity gradually picked up in an economy battered by viruses.
The average price of new homes in 70 cities rose 0.12% in March from February, according to data released Thursday by the National Bureau of Statistics. Average prices remained stable in February compared to the previous month.

Compared with the same period a year earlier, average prices for new homes rose 5.25% in March, compared to 5.83% in February.
A backlog of requests to buy houses is gradually being released, resulting in a slight increase in house prices in 70 large and medium-sized cities, said Kong Peng, chief statistician at the statistics office.

Among the top four cities, house prices in Shenzhen and Shanghai rose 0.5% and 0.1% respectively from the previous year, 0.5% in Guangzhou and remained the same at Beijing. Meanwhile, house prices in Wuhan, where the coronavirus pandemic originated, remained unchanged from the previous month.
New home prices rose in 37 of 70 cities in March from the previous month, compared with an increase in 21 cities in February. New home prices rose in 63 of 70 cities in March from a year earlier, compared to 64 in February.
Some local governments across the country have temporarily relaxed property controls, as land sales are a major source of revenue for local government coffers. Local authorities must find a delicate balance between ensuring growth and following the line of the central government to prevent real estate speculation.

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