BEIJING, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- Property prices in China ended 2013 still red hot despite repeated government efforts to cool the sector, but the rises are expected to soften this year as more targeted curbs come into place.
Of a statistical pool of 70 major Chinese cities, 65 saw a month-on-month rise in new home prices and 64 reported price gains in existing and second-hand homes in December last year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced online on Saturday.
More cities saw price growth ease in December, a result the senior NBS statistician Liu Jianwei attributed to a raft of government efforts to stabilize market expectations, including more controls and increasing the affordable housing supply.
Monthly price gains retreated 0.1 percentage point in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou and 0.4 percentage point in Shenzhen from those seen a month earlier.
On a yearly basis, all the cities except Wenzhou reported gains in new home prices.
First-tier cities continued to lead rises last month, with the prices of new homes in Beijing and Shanghai surging over 20 percent from a year ago, but Liu said the trend has been losing momentum.
"Property controls will extend the stance last year, but with more focus on region-specific approaches," noted Kuang Xianming, head of the economic research center at Hainan's China Institute for Reform and Development.
After years of increases more or less everywhere, price movements have become more diversified in recent months, with megacity still facing upward pressures while smaller cities in a more balanced state, prompting local authorities to adopt differentiated measures to steady the market.
Rather than new property curbs, the key central economic work conference last month stressed the need for affordable housing and a plentiful supply of land, a new mindset among the leadership determined to rely more on market forces.
The increasingly clear policy direction will steer the property sector onto a healthier track, said a report by the China Index Academy.
In the context of stable economic and monetary growth, the academy forecast slower rises in both home sales and prices this year, and a steady increase in new property investment.
The average prices of residential housing will rise by 7 percent to 7.6 percent in 2014, the academy predicted.
Driven by rapid urbanization and speculation, China's property market has taken off in recent years and become a major headache for the authorities as more people are priced out of the market.
The traditional Chinese mindset of viewing home ownership as a precondition for forming a family, along with limited investment channels , meant demands would keep rising.
Over the years, in response to public complaints, the central government has tried to rein in prices with purchase controls and experimental property taxes, resulting in short term cooling of the market. After a while, prices have generally rebounded.
BEIJING, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- China will set up a bureau for real estate registration to facilitate property management reform, China's top land and resources regulator said on Saturday.
The establishment of the bureau is designed to improve unified system design for registration as China will spell out related regulations this year, Xu Deming, vice minister of land and resources said at a work-planning meeting. Full story
BEIJING, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- China's government has stepped up efforts to make housing accessible to low-income earners as property prices have sky-rocketed, new data from the country's housing authorities revealed on Thursday.
The country started the construction of 24.9 million affordable housing units from 2011 to 2013, accounting for nearly 70 percent of the construction target of 36 million affordable units during the 2011-2015 period, according to the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.Full story