Thursday, April 14, 2011

Beijing House Prices Down 26% Month on Month

I don't know whether to believe this number. It's too crazy to contemplate.

Beijing Home Prices Drop for First Time in 19 Months in March
April 12, Prices of new homes in Beijing dropped 26.7% month-on-month in March, the first fall in 19 months, the Beijing News reported on Tuesday, citing unsourced data.

New home prices in Beijing averaged RMB 19,679 per square meter last month, down 10.9% year-on-year, the first annual drop since September 2009, the paper said.
A month earlier, home transaction volumes in Beijing slumped 70% m-o-m, thanks largely to the 15 new property rules unveiled in line with the State Council’s eight guidelines on the property market.

Okay, let's step back from this. There is enormous pressure from the central government to rein in prices. Maybe we're seeing paperwork tricks here, partly.

Inspectors probe real estate prices
"The central government was concerned that urban housing prices have affected the overall situation," Yun Xiaosu, the team's lead inspector and vice minister of Land and Resource, told government officials. Yun said the central government "vowed to vigorously fix the housing price issue."
The 16 regions are Beijing and Shanghai municipalities, Liaoning, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Fujian, Jiangxi, Shandong, Hubei, Guangdong, Hainan, Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces, and Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

Back to the first article:
“The reduced transaction volume indicates the government’s policies have been effective in curbing speculative buying, and as far as I know, around 90% of the transactions were made by home buyers with actual demand,” a person from the Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development was quoted as saying in the report.

After the introduction of the home-buying restriction measures, the proportion of non-local buyers of second homes in Beijing dropped by more than 40% to only 7.6% of total buyers, the paper said.
The article says that the National Bureau of Statistics will release March's data on April 18th. So, we'll see more then.


jesse said...

Good call on the paperwork angle. Prices down 20% sounds like a ploy to keep the party going.

GG said...

As Chanos is fond of saying (I paraphrase) the economic data are the product, not just a measure of the situation. (Okay, that was severely paraphrased, but you get the idea.)

But, a headline like that, given the sky-high detached from fundamental prices . . . could bring on a crash.