|Policies limit jump in house prices|
More Chinese cities saw an increase in housing prices in October than did the previous month,but the government's price control measures helped to keep the rises small.
The National Bureau of Statistics reported on Sunday that 35 of China's 70 major citieswitnessed a month-on-month price rise, up from 31 in September. Even so, the averagechange in price remained below 0.5 percent.
Year-on-year, as many as 56 of the cities posted a drop in their housing prices in October, andonly 12 saw higher prices.
The recent rebound in the market shows that "demand continues to be strong" amonghomebuyers who buy residences for their own use rather than as investments, said Zhang Lei,an analyst with real estate brokerage firm Century 21st Property.
As for November, the first half of the month saw 10,314 housing units sold in Beijing, Century21st said in a report released on Friday. The number was up by 134 percent from what it hadbeen in the same period of October. Zhang said the pace of housing transactions may continueto increase until the end of the year.
But, in general, "property prices are likely to remain stable in the coming months, at leastthrough March 2013, and policies during this period will probably remain unchanged," Zhangsaid.
Speaking at a news conference during the 18th Party congress, Jiang Weixin, minister ofhousing and urban-rural development, said the government will not moderate its real estatepolicies in the foreseeable future.
At the same time, the government plans to start building about 6 million more subsidizedhousing units for low-income urban households next year.
Industry sources say banks in some of China's second- and third-tier cities have taken stepsrecently to tighten up the mortgage market.
China's real estate policies are likely to remain stringent in the coming five to 10 years,according to a research paper released on Friday by China Index Academy, a research bodyspecializing in the real estate industry.
Curbing housing purchases for investment purchases will continue to be the policy's chiefpriority. That end will be pursued by restricting the number of houses that can be purchasedand continuing to offer slightly reduced mortgage rates to first-time homebuyers in the shortrun, the report said.
Despite the tight real estate policies, the pace of urbanization and the gradual improvement inresidents' incomes in China will still help the industry to develop soundly in the coming decade,it said.
Alastair Hughes, CEO of Jones Lang LaSalle Asia Pacific, said foreign institutional investorscontinue to seek investment opportunities in China.
"They care more about long-term prospects," Hughes said. "Therefore, short-term fluctuationsin the market will not drive them away."
Goodman Group, an Australia-based developer that specializes in industrial real estate,announced on Wednesday that it started work on 260,000 square meters of new developmentson the Chinese mainland during the third quarter.
"We continue to be confident of China's economic outlook as strong domestic consumptionprevails, which is in turn a key driver of demand for prime logistics and warehouse space," saidPhilip Pearce, Goodman managing director for Greater China.