Many property buyers 'delaying' their purchases

09:46, May 18, 2010      

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The series of strict measures rolled out by the authorities to rein in soaring property prices over the past month seem to have only delayed purchases by potential buyers in most urban areas, latest statistics have showed.

Housing prices in 70 large to medium-sized cities nationwide grew 12.8 percent year on year in April, figures from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

In Beijing, property prices grew by 14.7 percent in April year on year, peaking in the past 10 months, while the total floor space sold dropped to less than 1.2 million square meters, about 41 percent less than in March, statistics from the capital's statistics bureau showed.

The average housing price inside Beijing's fourth ring road from January to April reached 34,112 yuan ($5,016) per square meter, it said.

Housing prices in many other large cities like Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Shanghai are also on the rise, despite severe price control policies like property tax.

In April, the selling price of newly-built commodity houses in Shenzhen reached 20,567 yuan per square meter, a year-on-year increase of about 67 percent, while the total area sold in the city dropped to 291,200 square meters, a year-on-year decrease of about 61 percent, statistics from the Shenzhen bureau of land and resources showed.

Zhang Xiuhua, CEO of the Shanghai-based Fortune-Sun Reality Consultant Co Ltd, said housing prices in Shanghai are not falling as expected and the macro-control policies have only restrained transactions, with only 71,000 square meters of real estate sold during the first week in May, about 35 percent less than the previous week.

Other than first-tier cities, property prices in second- and third-tier cities are also increasing slightly, attracting speculative homebuyers to avoid the strict macro-control policies.

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