China’s housing prices fell at a faster rate in December: a real estate survey

People visit a residential sales office in Shandong Province, China, on December 15, 2022. House prices in 100 cities fell for the sixth consecutive month in December, according to a private Chinese survey.

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Home prices in China fell at a faster pace in December, according to a private survey on Sunday, reflecting persistently weak demand amid surging Covid-19 cases despite a series of support measures.

China’s real estate market crisis worsened this summer, with official data showing housing prices, sales and investment all fell in recent months, adding pressure to the ailing economy.

Home prices in 100 cities fell for the sixth consecutive month in December, falling 0.08% from the previous month after falling 0.06% in November, according to a survey by China Index Academy, one of the country’s largest independent real estate research firms.

The survey showed that out of 100 cities, 68 recorded a decrease in monthly prices, compared to 57 cities in November.

China has in recent weeks ramped up its support for the industry in a bid to ease a long-running liquidity pressure that has hurt developers and delayed completion of many housing projects, further undermining buyers’ confidence. The moves included lifting a ban on raising funds through stock offerings for listed real estate companies.

The real estate sector also got a slight boost after Beijing abruptly dropped its strict no-Covid policy in early December, which could lure consumers back into showrooms. But the virus is now spreading largely unchecked and potentially infecting millions of people daily, according to some international health experts.

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“Real estate policies may continue to maintain an accommodative tone with room for policy easing on the supply and demand side in 2023,” the real estate research firm said, adding, “The housing market is expected to gradually stabilize next year.”

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