China Jan home prices up 6.3 per cent - GulfToday

China Jan home prices up 6.3 per cent


Residential buildings are seen in Beijing, China. Reuters

New home prices in China grew at their weakest pace in nearly two years in January as the economy slowed and a fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak brought the country’s property market to a standstill.

Worryingly, analysts say the worst is yet to come for the property market, noting that with stepped-up measures to contain the spread of the epidemic, aggressive price-cutting by developers and widespread business disruption will be fully reflected only in coming months.

Average new home prices in China’s 70 major cities rose 0.2 per cent in January from the previous month, lower than a 0.3 per cent gain in December and marking the slowest pace since February 2018, Reuters calculated based on National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data on Monday.

On a year-on-year basis, home prices rose 6.3 per cent, slowing from a 6.6 per cent rise in December, hitting an 18-month-low.

Home sales have plummeted as the virus outbreak keeps property showrooms shut and potential buyers are afraid or unable to venture outside for long.

“Overall, the prices data have yet to reflect the impact from the coronavirus. There will be widespread price cutting in the country in February,” said Zhang Dawei, a Beijing-based analyst with property consultancy Centaline in a note to clients.

Nearly 1,800 people have died from the virus in China and more than 70,000 have been infected, prompting widespread transport curbs and tough public health measures that are weighing heavily on activities from service sector to manufacturing. Property developers and realtors are turning to virtual reality salesrooms, livestream marketing and generous incentives but the market has all but ground to a halt.


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