Shenzhen steps up cooling measures

As new data shows slowing growth in housing prices across the country in June, cities are responding to central government directives with different administrative measures to curb overheated markets. Shenzhen has chosen to tighten up on the flow of data and has sent teams around to individual new-home projects to personally encourage restraint by developers.

Average new home prices in China’s 70 major cities grew 0.6% in June from a month earlier, easing from a 0.7% gain in May, according to Reuters calculations based on data from the National Bureau of Statistics. Sixty-three of the total 70 cities surveyed by the NBS saw average home prices rise in June, down from the 67 that reported price increases in May. 

Guangzhou and Shenzhen, together with the two other tier-1 cities of Beijing and Shanghai, grew slower than the average, up just 0.2% from May, which was also slower than the 0.3% monthly expansion of the previous month. 

The weakness follows a campaign by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Rural Development since April to cool the markets. Cities have reacted with a mix of policy changes and monetary measures. 

Last week, the Shenzhen Municipal Market Supervision Administration teamed up with the Shenzhen Housing and Construction Bureau to carry out an enforcement action on 71 residential developments and 53 real estate agencies. Their objective was to rein in exaggerated sales campaigns. 

Since April, the Shenzhen Real Estate Information Platform no longer publishes data on the monthly average price of new homes and the contracted sales amounts, as well as other segmented data. The Municipal Housing and Construction Bureau said this was because the data had become erratic, subjected to “structural influences” and that NBS data should be used for guidance going forward. 

(Don’t know about you, dear readers, but that sounds like a tightening of control by the central government to us.)

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