BEIJING Jan 17 China's land prices are expected
to rise further in the first quarter of this year, though the
pace of increase will ease as the government keeps its
tightening measures in place, the Ministry of Land and Resources
said on Friday.
The average price of land for residential homes rose 8
percent to 5,033 yuan ($830) per square metre in 105 major
cities in October to December 2013 from a year ago, according to
a report released by the China Land Surveying and Planning
Institute, a research unit under the ministry.
It was the fifth consecutive quarter of quickening land
price inflation, which is a prelude to rising home prices and
underlines continued upward momentum for home prices.
"The central government is not likely to loosen controls or
to refrain from issuing new tightening curbs to manage the
property market in 2014," the institute said in a report on its
website, www.landvalue.com.cn. It also said key cities are
expected to keep tightening curbs in place.
"Under such a backdrop, we expect land prices to continue to
go up in the first quarter but gains will be eased," it said.
Home prices in large Chinese cities have continued to set
records in the past year despite a four-year long government
campaign to cool the market, adding to the threat of a price
bubble and forcing some local governments into a fresh round of
curbs in November.
Prices that month soared 9.9 percent from a year earlier -
the quickest annual pace on record, according to Reuters
calculations based on official data.
However, signs have emerged that the government's efforts to
cool the market, which have included releasing more land for
development, building affordable homes and curbing mortgages,
may be starting to bear fruit.
A Reuters poll in November had also predicted a slowdown in
house price growth, with analysts forecasting a 5.0 percent rise
in house prices this year after a likely 10 percent gain in
The amount of new land supplied for residential property
development hit a record high of 138,200 hectares in 2013, up 25
percent from the same period last year, the ministry said in a
separate announcement on its official Weibo microblog.
($1 = 6.0557 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting By Xiaoyi Shao and Jonathan Standing; Editing by