Nationwide home sales rise in first quarter
New home sales in China rose at a faster pace in the first three months of this year, according to the latest figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics.
Between January and March, about 2.59 trillion yuan (US$386.7 billion) worth of new homes, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, were sold across the country, a year-on-year increase of 7.5 percent. That compared with an annual rise of 4.5 percent registered in the first two months.
The area of new homes sold in the first quarter, meanwhile, totaled 259.54 million square meters, a slip of 0.6 percent from same period a year earlier. In comparison, a year-on-year drop of 3.2 percent was recorded between January and February.
“Despite an improvement in sales volumes and steady growth in pricing, developers have yet to return to the land auction market in a meaningful manner as they continue to face significant debt repayment pressures this year despite signs that monetary policy might be relaxing,” said Chester Zhang, director of Savills China research. “At the same time, more opportunities are competing for developers’ attention in the second-hand land market with struggling players looking to bring on equity partners or dispose of sites outright.”
Nationwide land sales during the three-month period fell 33.1 percent to 25.43 million square meters, while by value they dropped 27 percent year-on-year to 119.4 billion yuan, the bureau’s data showed.
On the inventory side, newly built homes available for sale as of the end of March stood at 246.78 million square meters, down 15.4 percent from a year earlier. That compared with 252.08 million square meters recorded as of the end of February.
Investment in residential property development, which represented 72.5 percent of total real estate investment in the first three months, rose 17.3 percent year-on-year to 1.73 billion yuan, decelerating from 18 percent growth recorded in the first two months, according to the bureau.