Strong Property Sales In China 2012To ensure meeting its GDP target, Beijing eased monetary controls in the second quarter of 2012, including twice interest rates cuts and a number of RRR reductions, leading to a full recovery in property market across the country in the second half of the year. As the buying sentiment keeps gaining momentum, the market finished the year of 2012 with a strong end. Over the year, aggregate sales of residential floor area totaled 1.05 billion square meters, up 0.18% year-on-year, while total property sales also stayed in last year’s level at about 1.18 billion square meters, up 0.26% year-on-year.

Fuelled by strong demand from end-users, national housing sales in December continued to rally, with total sales of residential floor space during the month rose nearly 50% month-on-month to over 169 million square meters. However, the increasing transactions of mid-and low-priced flats also dragged down the average housing price, which recorded a 2% month-on-month decline in December, to around RMB 5,118 per square meter. According to data released from National Bureau of Statistics, 54 cities, out of 70, saw prices of newly-built flats rose on monthly basis in December, compared to only 53 cities in November.

Home sales in first-tier cities in December went up by 39% month-on-month to 7.1 million square meters, and average prices dropped moderately by 5% month-on-month to about RMB 13,516 per square meter. For the 23 second-tier cities that we have been tracking, total housing sales went up 26% month-on-month to over 37 million square meters, while housing sales in the 13 tracked third-tier cities registered a 65% monthon- month growth to over 11 million square meters in December.

Along with the pickup in housing sales, some developers also reported better-thanexpected sales figures in December. Of which, China’s biggest developers, China Vanke, in earlier January said the company sold a total of 12.96 million square meters of both residential and commercial floor area in 2012, bringing in revenue of about RMB 141.23 billion, up 20.5% and 16.2% respectively compared with a year ago.