New home sales in China rose more quickly in the first five months of this year, data released yesterday by the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

About 4.13 trillion yuan (US$644.7 billion) worth of new homes, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, were sold between January and May around the country, a year-on-year rise of 12.8 percent, the bureau said in a statement posted on its website. The growth rate picked up from the 9.5 percent expansion of the first four months.

The area of new homes sold in the first five months climbed 2.3 percent from the same period a year earlier to 490.66 million square meters, accelerating from the 0.4 percent gain in the first four months, the bureau said.

“The faster growth rates in both value and volume were partly contributed to by improved sales performances in some third- and fourth-tier cities where rein-in policies are not so tight,” said Zhao Baogen, an analyst at Shanghai Homelink Real Estate Agency Co.

“In the meantime, the recent ‘talent wars’ launched by local governments in several major second-tier cities also caused some fluctuations in the housing market.”

The inventory of new homes shrank again. Newly-built homes available for sale as of the end of May fell 23.1 percent from the same time a year ago to around 280.56 million square meters, the bureau’s data showed. That compared to 285.22 million square meters registered as of the end of April.

Investment in residential property development, which took up 70.1 percent of total real estate investment in the first five months, jumped 14.2 percent year on year to around 2.9 trillion yuan, the same pace as that of the first four months, according to the bureau.



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