Top cities key housing draws
Shanghai's new property projects remain popular during May 1-5
Growing enquiries for new home projects in major Chinese cities during the five-day Labor Day holiday are an indication of homebuyers' preference for living in the country's top-tier cities, experts said.
Meanwhile, disappearance of speculation on the property market in Shanghai and the stabilized residential market in Beijing have proved that tightening measures are successful in guiding the housing market on a healthy development path, they said.
Regardless of their location, new housing projects in Shanghai remained extremely popular during the holiday. A project in the remote Jiading district, launched a day ahead of the holiday, saw all 360 flats in its first phase sold out by Tuesday afternoon at an average price of 59,000 yuan ($9,113) per square meter, the Shanghai Securities News said in a report.
New projects in Beijing also saw a rise in visitors during the holiday, as property developers are trying to restore their capital flows through advertising tactics, China Securities Journal said. Eligible homebuyers, who do not yet own a property yet, accounted for most of the active visits in big cities during the holiday period, said Chen Sheng, president of the China Real Estate Data Academy.
"To be more specific, demand in big cities is being driven by first-time homebuyers, which is more or less matching with the new supply," said Chen.
Yan Yuejin, director of Shanghai-based E-house China Research and Development Institution, said the demand was largely due to flurry of new housing projects launched ahead of the holiday.
"The tightening measures for the property market do not necessarily mean that home transactions will perform poorly. In fact, the effective supply will allow potential homebuyers to purchase houses for living in," said Yan.
Since the beginning of the year, the Shanghai municipal government has announced a series of measures vis-a-vis land supply, land bidding, home prices and new home transactions, which have effectively eliminated speculative investment and protected the actual residential demand, according to experts.
On April 25, the Shanghai housing regulator announced to launch 13,969 new homes in 12 districts of the city, with the majority of them being set aside for new buyers. None of the projects was priced higher than similar projects launched in recent 12 months.
"Given the guideline of 'housing is for living in and not for speculation', local governments are resolute in creating a fair and transparent market for home purchases. This will ensure that more potential homebuyers can purchase their ideal homes and also ease the supply shortage," said Lu Wenxi, a researcher with Centaline Shanghai.
Considering the consistent introduction of tightening measures by local governments, as well as the fact that more buyers have bought their homes for living, the housing market in top-tier cities will further stabilize in the subsequent months, said Xu Xiaole, chief market analyst with the Beike Research Institute.