China Property Digest: developers' credit improving

BEIJING Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:53am EST

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BEIJING Jan 31 (Reuters) - China's home prices and sales continued to pick up in recent months as Beijing's pro-growth policies boost housing demand among city dwellers and funding for developers.

The government has pledged to maintain its property controls, such as restricting the number of homes Chinese can buy, although analysts say Beijing should switch to more market-oriented instruments such as property taxes to control home prices.

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 29 - Fitch Ratings says in a new report that it expects the homebuilding sector in China to see rising volumes in 2013 due to improved funding availability to developers and increased regulatory certainty.

Jan 24 - Vanke Property Overseas Ltd said one of its controlling shareholders has won a tender to develop a plot of land in the New Territories in Hong Kong.

Jan 24 - Bank lending to China's property sector eased in the last quarter of 2012 but remained at a relatively high level as the property market recovered, data from the central bank showed.

Jan 24 - Wins Investment, the fund arm of Chinese property developer Gemdale Corp, plans to increase funds under management by more than 40 percent this year by helping smaller developers that are starved of cash expand as China's property market recovers.

Jan 21 - China's recovery from its longest slowdown in growth since the global financial crisis is being driven by the two forces posing the biggest risks to the economy's increasingly urgent need to rebalance - investment and property.

Jan 19 - China Vanke Co Ltd, the country's largest property developer by revenue, plans to move trading of its foreign currency shares to Hong Kong from Shenzhen, joining an exit from the mainland's moribund B-share market.

Data

- Beijing's residential new home transactions reached 10,032 units by Jan. 28, up 2.6 percent from December and soaring 570 percent from the same period last year, data from local consultancy Home Link showed.

- Land sale revenues in Beijing totalling 20.57 billion yuan ($3.31 billion) in January, hitting a 11-year high, according to data from private consultancy BA Consulting and 5i5j.

- A total of 20 mainland property developers raised 60 billion yuan in the overseas bonds market in 2012, according to data from China Real Estate Index System(CREIS).

- China's new home prices in 70 major cities dropped 0.4 percent in 2012 from the previous year while the second-hand home prices were down 1.1 percent on a year ago, according to data from REICO, a research institute set up by the China Real Estate Chamber of Commerce.

CHINESE PRESS

Jan 31 - Beijing Taxation Bureau denied a media report that the capital city would levy property taxes this year after the current pilot cities of Shanghai and Chongqing.(Caijing website)

Jan 28 - There is no decision yet on expanding the property tax to more Chinese cities after the pilot programme kicked off in Shanghai and Chongqing in 2011.(Peoples' Daily)

Jan 25 - The Beijing government aims to keep property sales and home prices stable this year and plans to increase transaction taxes on projects with excessively fast price rises, said Qin Haixiang, spokesman of Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-rural Development.(Beijing News)

Jan 23 - Prospective home buyers should not change sentiment on the property market as the government still has many measures on hand to curb rising home prices, said Chen Gang, vice-mayor of Beijing.(Beijing Times)

THEY SAID

--"Personally I think it is quite necessary to control home prices in China for the whole industry's development. From this perspective the central government's property curbing measures are very effective."(Wang Shi, chairman of China Vanke Co Ltd, in an interview with Xinhua)

--"Even if the government takes fresh curbing measures this year, it might not be able to stop the stabilising and rising trend of home prices,"(Ren Zhiqiang, chairman of Huayuan Property told a news conference)

($1 = 6.2204 Chinese yuan) (Reporting By Xiaoyi Shao and Kevin Yao; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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