Potential homebuyers examine property models of China Vanke Co in Dongguan, Guangdong Province. (Photo by An Dong/For China Daily)
After a mild increase in the country's property prices in March, experts predicted the trend is likely to maintain in April.
According to the latest housing price report released by the National Bureau of Statistics, prices for newly-built property in the four first-tier cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen) increased by 0.2 percent compared to February. Beijing and Guangzhou led the trend, up 0.4 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively. The bureau also observed a 0.6 percent price increase in March for new properties in 31 second-tier cities compared to February.
Pre-owned property prices in the country saw a relatively stronger increase in March, as the price in first-tier cities climbed by 0.3 percent compared to the month before, with the growth pace up 0.2 percentage point. The price for such property in 31 second-tier ones also saw a 1.2 percent monthly increase.
Zhang Dawei, chief analyst at Centaline Property, said the price increase in 70 major cities in China was "within expectation".
"Since last October, the price for pre-owned property has seen a downward trend for six months in a row," he said. "However, the market showed signs of warming up this March, especially in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Beijing, Hangzhou and Nanjing. Twelve cities have seen an uptick of over 1 percent (compared to February)."
Zhang predicted such a bounce back in pre-owned housing prices will remain in April.
Zhang Bo, chief analyst of 58 Anjuke Institute, said several cities have relaxed their hukou policy (a Chinese household registration permit issued by each city) as part of the effort to attract highly educated or skilled people, and it will cause an increase in the housing price in a short amount of time.
"As more second-tier cities are increasing their appeal to the talent, more skilled workers will choose to settle down in those cities," he added. "Such a trend will have a long and deep impact on the property market."
Industry experts also predicted Beijing's property market will see signs of warming up this year as the macro economy picks up and credit liquidity increases.
Savills, an international real estate consultancy firm, recently released a report saying property sales in the capital's market went up 133 percent on a yearly basis to 942,200 square meters, fueled by a stable real estate policy and improved credit in the market.
Since most of the apartments available for sale in the market in the first quarter were government-subsidized housing, home prices could hardly see an obvious increase, said Anthony McQuade, chairman of Savills North China Region.
"Looking forward, we are anticipating a gradually improved property market this year, due to more liquidity in the monetary and credit market. But a large-scale price rebound is not likely to happen since the government will not loosen real estate policies," McQuade said.