China house prices accelerate to 8-month high in April

China’s home prices rose in April at the fastest pace in eight months. The Chinese government’s cooling measures have apparently failed to deter buyers from entering the market. Some Chinese Communist media cited sources saying China may study introducing a national real estate tax. (Fang Dehao reports)

“New home prices in 70 cities, excluding state-subsidized housing, rose 0.48 percent last month from March, and rose 0.41 percent in March from February, Bloomberg reported, citing data from the National Bureau of Statistics. Prices in the secondary market, which faces less government intervention, climbed 0.4 percent, the same pace as a month ago.

Chinese buyers’ sentiment to enter the market persists, with investors using real estate as a hedge against global inflation, the report noted. That has prompted the authorities to issue a series of statements aimed at cooling home prices. Year-to-date, residential sales in cities such as Shenzhen, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Nanjing have more than doubled from the same period in 2019, according to the China Real Estate Information Association.

On April 30, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China, reiterated during a meeting of the Politburo that he “should adhere to the positioning that houses are for living and not for speculation.” Last week, a senior party and government source was quoted in the Chinese Communist Party media as saying they may revisit the introduction of a long-delayed national real estate tax.