China home price growth accelerates after credit makes comeback


SHANGHAI • New-home price growth in China snapped a fourmonth weakening streak, one of the first official signs there may be a widespread recovery in the nation’s housing market.

The value of new homes, excluding government-subsidised housing, gained 0.61% on average in March from February in 70 major cities tracked by the nation’s statistics bureau, official data released yesterday showed. That accelerated from a 0.53% rise a month earlier.

The recovery is more evident in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, where local governments have increasingly sought to use so-called stealth easing to offset reduced support from shanty-town renovation projects.

Prices in Tier 1 cities including Beijing and Shanghai gained 0.2%, the slowest increase in five months. Values rose at a faster 0.63% and 0.65% in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities respectively.

The data will have investors watching closely for home sales data due today to gauge if buyer sentiment has improved.

Home price data has been increasingly affected by the product mix of new homes put on the market, which is under government control. Even so, there were early signs of green shoots in home sales last month.

A rebound in home price growth also puts a question mark over whether there will be more loosening of property curbs. Credit growth rose strongly in March, and that’s seeped through to the real estate industry via bank loans. — Bloomberg