China Property Digest: Mild recovery continues

Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:59am EST

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BEIJING Jan 18 (Reuters) - China's home prices extended their gradual rise in December as Beijing's stimulative policies underpinned demand despite property purchase restrictions in place since early 2010.

Critics have said Beijing must use market instruments such as property taxes to control home prices, not ad hoc controls such as restricting the number of homes Chinese can buy.

Property investment accounted for 14 percent of China's gross domestic product in 2012.

Here is a look at the latest news, numbers and more from China's real estate market.

REUTERS NEWS

Jan 18 - China's home prices extended their slow rise in December, the fifth month in the last six to show an increase despite government efforts to temper prices.

Jan 17 - Business is booming in Beijing's real estate offices -- good news for property agents such as Zhang Huanhuan, but a headache for China's policymakers as worries resurface about the sustainability of investment in the sector.

Jan 15 - China's land price inflation for residential homes is expected to quicken this year after picking up in the fourth quarter, the Ministry of Land and Resources said, amid growing expectations that the property market is rebounding.

Jan 14 - Chinese home builder Evergrande Real Estate Group said it wants to grow its contract sales by 25 percent this year from 2012 to 100 billion yuan ($16 billion).

Jan 14 - China's Poly Real Estate Group, the country's second-biggest property developer by market value, said its 2012 net profit rose nearly 30 percent, adding to signs that the sector is recovering.

Jan 14 - China may hold off taking a trial property tax nationwide, a senior tax official said in remarks published on Monday.

Jan 7 - China Vanke Co Ltd, the country's largest real estate developer by revenue, said its December sales soared 142 percent to 14.1 billion yuan ($2 billion).

Jan 6 - China unveiled measures, including requiring local governments to set aside funding and giving developers loan subsidises, to ease funding pressures for its public housing programme this year.

Jan 4 - Average home prices in China's 100 biggest cities were flat in December from a year earlier, ending eight months of declines and reinforcing signs of a recovery in the property market, a private-sector survey showed.

Jan 3 - Southeast Asia's largest property developer CapitaLand Ltd is pulling out of the Indian and UK markets to focus on its core businesses in Singapore and China, which together account for over half its revenues.

DATA

- China's land sales revenues reached 2.7 trillion yuan ($432.8 billion) in 2012, down 14.6 percent from the previous year, according to data from the Ministry of Land and Resources.

- China's residential costs including rents, utilities and the cost of renovating and building homes rose 3 percent in December from a year ago, the biggest climb since October 2011, data from the National Statistics Bureau showed.

- Beijing's new home prices reached 20,700 yuan per square meter in 2012, down 7.6 percent on a year ago while prices for new home projects located within the city's fourth-ring road were up 5.6 percent on the year, data from the Beijing Real Estate Association showed.

- Second-hand home prices in Beijing rose 10.7 percent in December from a year earlier while Shanghai's prices were also up 10 percent on the year, data from a property consultancy Centaline showed.

CHINESE PRESS

Jan 16 - Authorities in first-tier cities where land is scarce will substantially increase land supply this year to contain land price inflation, according to unnamed industry insiders. (China Securities Journal)

Jan 11 - The Ministry of Land and Resources said it would continue to ensure sufficient land supply in 2013 to head off huge gains in land prices.(Xinhua)

Jan 11 - China's Chongqing municipal government has raised the threshold for levying property tax by 5.2 percent from the previous year to 12,779 yuan per square metre as of January 1 2013. (China Business News)

Jan 9 - Chinese developer Guangzhou R&F Properties Ltd said it is optimistic house prices would not fall sharply in 2013 thanks to ample liquidity in financial markets.(Shanghai Securities News)

Jan 8 - China's government needs to strictly enforce its property controls to curb rising home prices, especially given the market is expecting prices to rise and perhaps even rebound sharply, a front-page editorial said. (China Securities Journal)

THEY SAID

-- "Some people are too optimistic that the new round of urbanisation would benefit the property industry, whereas I think it has a neutral effect on this sector at least in 2013." (Qin Hong, head of policy research institute, China Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, told a forum in Beijing)

-- "China's land market suffers from a severe shortage and property developers are starving for land," (Ren Zhiqiang, chairman of Huayuan Property said in a interview with Beijing News)

($1 = 6.2160 Chinese yuan) (Reporting By Xiaoyi Shao and Koh Gui Qing; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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