Property sales rebound during holiday

BEIJING – China’s major cities experienced a rebound in property sales during the recent Labour Day holiday period, while prices relatively remained stable, according to industry statistics on Tuesday.

Property sales rebound during holiday

A residential block under construction in the Baiyun district of Guangzhou. Some 1,000 people were looking to buy around 300 villas on offer in the city during the Labor Day holiday between April 30 and May 2. [Photo/Agencies]

According to SouFun.com, the country’s largest property website, 1,190 units of apartments were sold between April 30 and May 2. That figure was 2.5 times more than sales during the Tomb-sweeping Day holiday from April 4 to 6.

In Shenzhen, some 5,000 people competed for 1,349 apartments on April 30 as a developer offered houses at a relatively lower price. A similar situation was seen in Guangzhou, with some 1,000 people looking to buy around 300 villas which were on offer during the holiday period.

Property prices are also rebounding as sales pick up. Statistics from the China Index Academy on Tuesday showed that in the 100 cities it monitors, 77 witnessed a price increase from the previous month. And among 10 key cities, only Beijing and Tianjin experienced a price dip. The average property price for 100 sample cities climbed 0.4 percent in April than March, the data showed.

“Compared with a few months ago, demand is picking up and the discount offers to customers have been declining,” said Han Bin, deputy chief of marketing at Boao Shanqin Bay developed by CITIC Real Estate Co Ltd in Hainan province.

The duty-free shopping plan in Hainan has provided a strong boost for time-share hotels and serviced apartments on the island.

According to Wong, the trend for the property market in the second half of this year still largely hinges on the government policies.

“If there are no more tightening measures, then property sales will pick up in the coming six months and prices will probably rebound,” said Wong. However, the policy to restrict the number of homes a family can purchase has curbed some demand, Wong added.

Premier Wen Jiabao reiterated the central government’s unswerving determination to stabilize real estate prices and to promote a healthy development of the sector when visiting a low-income housing construction site in eastern Beijing on May 1.

“The market is still not clear at the moment,” said a marketing chief of Runfeng Real Estate Development Co, who declined to be named. “What we can do is to adjust our product line to better meet the customer demand.”

The company, for instance, features three-bedroom apartments with floor space of around 90 square meters in its new project, as it mainly targets buy-to-live purchasers following the purchasing restriction policy.

“People usually need some time to absorb the situation in the wake of the government’s rigorous measures to curb the sharp increase in property prices. So it is quite natural to see a slump in transaction volumes,” said John Wong, director of investment services at Colliers International.

“But purchasing power will gradually return to the market after a period of adjustment and once buyers find that the prices haven’t dropped as much as they anticipated,” he added.

By Hu Yuanyuan of China Daily

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