|A couple visits a housing expo in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, on Oct 2. New home prices in 100 major Chinese cities averaged 10,554 yuan ($1,724) per square meter in September, up for a 16th consecutive month in month-on-month terms. Wang Jiankang / For China Daily|
Home sales in major cities didn't lose steam during the weeklong National Day holiday, which started on Oct 1, as homebuyers scrambled to sign contracts before they are priced out of the market.
Housing markets in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing and Hainan remained bullish during the long holiday period, encouraging property developers and sellers to take a more aggressive stance than before.
In Beijing, homebuyers are now paying between 300,000 yuan ($49,000) and 800,000 yuan more to get pre-decorated apartments in newly released residential projects. Some developers in the capital city have started to charge a "decoration fee", averaging between 4,000 yuan and 9,000 yuan per square meter, Xinhuanet.com reported on Sunday. This means that homebuyers are spending more for down payments, and that the current cost of an apartment priced between 1.2 million yuan and 1.7 million yuan could now be 450,000 yuan higher than before the move.
In Shanghai, residential projects neighboring the pilot free trade zone, which was officially launched in late September, are being eagerly chased by homebuyers and investors. The prices of some apartments in the area have already increased 20 percent.
For instance, Lingang New City, which is included in the Yangshan Free Trade Port Area, saw its average home prices rise 22.3 percent year-on-year to 11,536 yuan per sq m, according to data collected by Sohu Focus, a real estate website.
In the secondary market, average prices rose 10 percent for apartments near the Waigaoqiao area one week after the State Council — China's cabinet — approved the free trade zone project in late August, according to Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants.
And as of Sept 11, the volume of home transactions had surged 470 percent month-on-month to 15,500 sq m for property near the Waigaoqiao area, the Shanghai-based Jiefang Daily reported.
Industry observers said it's almost certain that land prices in areas neighboring the FTZ will keep rising. But Xie Chen, director of CBRE's research and development in Shanghai, said land values will likely go up gradually.
"If land prices surge too much at the beginning, they will undermine the sustained development of the FTZ areas," said Xie.
Meanwhile, a total of 260 apartments in Nanjing were sold out within five hours on the last day of September, and another 108 flats in the same residential project, which started its sales on Oct 2, ran out of stock within a day.
Data from Nanjing's housing regulator showed that 7,326 apartments were traded in September, up more than 10 percent year-on-year — a four-year high.
In Hainan, a significant number of out-of-town buyers looked for property in the southern part of the province during the holiday. Pre-owned flats near the sea and in sophisticated communities are the most favored by tourists, a salesperson was quoted as saying by media reports.
Hainan's unique natural resources have attracted many out-of-town homebuyers. The province's new home sales from January to August rose 31.4 percent year-on-year, while sales revenue surged 39.6 percent compared with the same period in 2012.
New home prices in the nation's 100 major cities averaged 10,554 yuan per sq m in September, rising for 16 consecutive months in month-on-month terms, according to a report from the China Index Academy, the research arm of Soufun, China's largest property website.
Seventy-nine cities posted hikes in home prices over the previous month, with 34 of them seeing rises at a pace of more than 1 percent, three more cities than in the previous month.
New home prices in those 100 cities increased 9.48 percent on average year-on-year, 0.87 percentage point higher than in August.
And new home prices in the country's 10 largest cities grew 13.87 percent year-on-year to 18,179 yuan per sq m in September, extending their winning streak to 11 months. Beijing saw the highest month-on-month property inflation, at 3.75 percent, trailed by Shenzhen, which posted a 3.15 percent month-on-month rise.