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Property prices set to rise as supply tightens (2)

By Hu Yuanyuan  (China Daily)

08:40, January 30, 2013

Century 21st, the real estate agency, told China Daily that its sales of both new and pre-owned homes have been strengthening since May 2011, and the trend has continued into 2013, with sales of pre-owned homes in Beijing likely to reach a 24-month high in January.

The latest statistics from the Beijing housing authorities show that 17,723 pre-owned homes had been sold by Jan 27, a 3.5 percent rise on the same period in December, and that transactions in December had reached a 23-month high.

Zhang Lei, an analyst with Century 21st, said more individual buyers, expecting another price increase, had recently piled into the market, transforming what is traditionally considered a flat season into a "hot" one.

Yang Zhen, a 26-year-old company executive, for instance, said he's hoping to snap up a small apartment in the capital before returning home for Spring Festival.

"In April last year, one of my colleagues bought a one-bedroom apartment at a cost of around 1.3 million yuan ($208,700).

"But I couldn't find a similar one for any cost less than 1.8 million yuan now. I just couldn't wait anymore," he said.

Industry figures show that the average price for pre-owned homes in Beijing have hit 30,803 yuan per square meter in January, up 36 percent on a yearly basis.

"But if prices continue to go up greatly, transactions may drop," added Zhang from Century 21st.

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