China: Housing sector remains depressed in April
May 20, 2022
House prices in 70 large- and medium-sized cities fell 0.2% month-on-month in April, according to a weighted average index calculated by Refinitiv from data issued by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), following March’s 0.0%.
Meanwhile, house prices increased 0.7% annually in April, down from March’s 1.5% increase. Annual average growth in house prices eased to 3.1% in April, from 3.5% in the previous month.
Other housing market indicators were also downbeat in the month. In the year to April, sales of commercial buildings, new residential housing starts and real estate developer funding fell by double digits—and at an even steeper pace than in the year to March. Moreover, national real estate investment declined 2.7% in the year to April. Despite the easing of government property curbs and the lowering of mortgage rates in recent months in a bid to boost the sector, the housing market is set to remain depressed in the near term due to rolling Covid-19 restrictions and as developers struggle with debt burdens.
Author: Oliver Reynolds, Economist