Property still regarded as best investment tool

16:18, June 16, 2011      

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Property remains the top investment choice in China despite the fact that nearly three-quarters of residents think housing prices are too high and "difficult to accept," according to a central bank survey released on June 16.

The survey, conducted by the People's Bank of China and covering 20,000 urban depositors in 50 cities, showed that 74.3 percent of the surveyed think housing prices are too high and "difficult to accept." The figure was almost the same compared as the first quarter of this year.

As to the trend of the housing market in the second half of 2011, more than 34 percent of those surveyed predicted that property prices will remain stable, while nearly 26 percent said prices would trend upward and almost 19 percent believed they would fall.

Nearly 15 percent of them expressed willingness to buy property in the coming quarter, 0.8 percentage points lower than last quarter. Among major investment channels, 22.2 percent of people chose "property." Though the figure is 2.8 percentage points lower than last quarter, real estate was still the top investment choice.

The survey also revealed that urban residents were not satisfied with consumer prices, with 68.2 percent of the surveyed said prices were high and difficult to accept, 1.3 percentage points higher than the last survey.

However, their expectations for future prices hike eased. More than 45 percent of urban residents expected higher consumer prices in the third quarter, 1.7 percentage points lower than the last survey.

Affected by the current consumer price level, interest rate and income level, 83 percent of urban residents tend to put more money in their saving accounts. Some 41 percent favored alternative forms of savings, including bonds, securities and funds, while 17 percent chose more consumption. Both the public's will to consume and to save increased, while the will to invest fell.

The property market and funds financing were the first two choices for urban residents' investment. Meanwhile, bonds exceeded securities to become their third choice.

By Qi Shuwen, People's Daily Online
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