China’s June Home Sales Rise 33% as Price Cuts Lure Buyers

Bloomberg

China's home sales rose 33 percent in June from the previous month as price cuts by developers lured buyers.

The value of homes sold climbed to 591.2 billion yuan ($95 billion) last month from 446.1 billion yuan in May, according to the difference between the National Statistics Bureau's data for the first half of the year and the first five months. That was the biggest monthly gain this year. The value of sales in the first six months fell 9.2 percent to 2.56 trillion yuan from a year earlier, the data showed.

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"We are seeing signs the market is stabilizing," said Johnson Hu, a Hong Kong-based property analyst at CIMB Securities Research, in a phone interview today. "A series of property indicators are likely to narrow losses further in the second half given the economy and credit conditions are improving."

Developers, including China Vanke Co. and Greentown China Holdings Ltd., have cut property prices since March to boost sales. The central bank in May called on the nation's biggest lenders to accelerate the granting of mortgages and urged them to give priority to first-home buyers.

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The decline in home sales "bottomed out" in the second quarter due to easier policy that has quickened mortgage approvals, Hong Kong-based Nomura Holdings Inc. property analyst Jeffrey Gao said on a conference call yesterday.

The northern city of Hohhot and the eastern city of Jinan have become the first to ease home-purchase restrictions. More cities will follow in the next 12 months, Gao said.

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Economy Improves

China's economic growth was 7.5 percent in the second quarter from last year, accelerating for the first time in three quarters, government data showed.

Investment in homes, office buildings, malls and other real estate gained 14 percent to 4.2 trillion yuan in the first half, compared with a 20 percent gain a year earlier, according to the statistics bureau data released today. New property construction dropped 16.4 percent to 801.3 million square meters (8.6 billion square feet) over the same period.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange Property Index rose 1.2 percent, the most among the five industry groups on the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP), which fell 0.2 percent at the close of trading.

Home sales by area fell 7.8 percent in the first half from last year to 424.9 million square meters, the data showed. The value of property sales including office buildings and retail space declined by 6.7 percent to 3.11 trillion yuan from a year ago.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Bonnie Cao in Shanghai at bcao4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andreea Papuc at apapuc1@bloomberg.net Iain McDonald, Tomoko Yamazaki

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