CHINA’S property sector continued to recover but at a slower pace in May, with fewer cities reporting month-on-month rises in new home prices, an official survey has showed.
Of 70 large and medium-sized cities surveyed last month, new home prices climbed month on month in 60 of them, down from 65 in April, the National Bureau of Statistics said.
Meanwhile, four cities reported month-on-month price declines, down from five in April, according to the bureau data.
For pre-owned homes, 49 cities said prices rose month on month in May and 13 posted lower prices, compared with 51 and 10 in April.
Overall, the home price growth has slowed, with the average month-on-month increase for new homes narrowing 0.3 percentage points and that for existing homes contracting 0.4 percentage points, said Liu Jianwei, the bureau’s senior statistician.
Both top-tier cities and smaller cities saw milder month-on-month growth in May than in April, but the year-on-year data remained upbeat, Liu said.
On an annual basis, 50 cities posted new home price gains and 18 reported falls in May, compared with 46 and 23 in April.
New home prices soared 54 percent year on year in Shenzhen, the sharpest increase last month among all the major cities.
Prices in the top-tier cities of Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou rose 33.8 percent, 21.4 percent, and 19 percent year on year, respectively.
The northeastern city of Jinzhou saw the steepest price drop of 3.2 percent over a year earlier.
While top-tier cities posted slower year-on-year price increases, second and third-tier cities saw average growth accelerate from April, Liu said.
China’s housing market started to recover in the second half of 2015 after cooling for more than a year, boosted by government support, which included interest rate cuts and lower deposit requirements.
But the sector’s recovery has been uneven from city to city, with economically strong areas reporting sharp price rises, and less developed areas still seeing huge stocks of unsold houses.
The contrasting picture has prompted local authorities to take different approaches: Shenzhen and Shanghai have tightened policies to curb speculative buying, while third and fourth-tier cities are eying new ways to spur sales.