BOFIT Viikkokatsaus / BOFIT Weekly 2019/21

According to the 70-city sample used by China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the weighted average price for new apartments increased last month by about 7 % y-o-y. Price changes in the four most important cities were still quite minor. Based on other sources, the rise in housing prices has been faster.

Business portal Caixin cited the E-House Real Estate Research Institute’s survey of 100 cities, which claims apartment prices rose an average of 13 % y-o-y in the first quarter. In nearly a quarter of cities the annual price increase exceeded 20 %, and in China’s four major cities, prices were up by 19 %. In the NBS 70-city sample, only Hohhot reported a price rise of 20 %. Data from real estate tracker SouFun also indicate a faster rise in prices than reported by the NBS.

It is difficult to draw a clear overall picture of housing price trends. Recent warnings on housing markets issued by China’s decision-makers imply, however, that the situation may be more disconcerting than the NBS figures suggest.