China home prices rise again in April, adding momentum to recovery

BEIJING (REUTERS) – China’s new home prices rose at a slightly faster pace in April, adding to signs that the country’s property market is slowly recovering as coronavirus lockdowns are eased and the world’s second-largest economy reopens.

Average new home prices in China’s 70 major cities rose 0.5 per cent in April from the prior month, following a 0.1 per cent increase in March, Reuters calculated based on National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data released on Monday (May 18).

On an annual basis, home prices picked up 5.1 per cent in April, compared with March’s 5.3 per cent rise.

“Pent-up housing demand is being further released in April as the economy and life continue to get back on track,” an official with the NBS said in a statement along with the data.

The stronger home prices are in line with recovery signs for real estate developers, who in April saw quickened investment and a narrower decline in sales.

Most of the 70 cities surveyed by the NBS reported monthly price increases for new homes, with the number rising sharply to 50 from 38 in March.

Nanjing, the capital city of eastern Jiangsu province, and Tangshan, in the northern Hebei province, were the top price performers last month, notching up a monthly price increase of 1.8 per cent.

Prices were lower in Wuhan city, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, NBS data showed.

Although most regions have lifted transport curbs, property sales and buyer demand remains under pressure in some cities as authorities maintained restrictions following new clusters of infections.

Beijing has reiterated its strict stance against hot money flows into the property market, even as the economy emerges from its first contraction since at least 1992.

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