Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mainland China Property Speculation Resumes?

Was the slowing property price triggered the market speculation that the Chinese government will relax the tightening control or was the Chinese government actually signalled it would relax the policy(improved bank lending on property mortgages)? Market, market.

(TheStandard, July 13)inland property stocks soared yesterday on reports that banks in first-tier cities resumed mortgage lending for third-home purchases - a signal that authorities may ease tightening measures.

China Overseas (0688) rose 4.4 percent to HK$16.08, China Resources Land (1109) 2.2 percent to HK$15.86, Evergrande Real Estate (3333) 3.3 percent and R&F Properties (2777) 3.2 percent.

Banks in Beijing and Shenzhen started providing mortgages for third homes after Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou loosened controls on mortgage lending, the Securities Times reported yesterday.

Branches of ICBC (1398) in Shenzhen are providing mortgages to buyers of third homes, a customer services officer told the paper, but the downpayment has to be no less than 50 percent."

Most other banks in Beijing and Shenzhen demand the same level of downpayment, with the interest rate set at 1.1 times the benchmark rate or higher, the Times added.

Yet Evergrande chief executive Xia Haijun said he did not see any signs that tightening measures will be relaxed in the near term. Xia expects the upward trend in home prices will end in the second half of the year. But he does not rule out more tightening measures if home prices rise higher.

Evergrande raised its full-year contracted sales target by 10 percent to 40 billion yuan (HK$45.92 billion), up 30 percent from 2009.

The developer's sales in the first six months fetched 20.98 billion yuan and the gross floor area sold totaled 3.34 million square meters.

The State Council said in April that banks should suspend lending for third homes as part of measures to cool the property market.

Beijing's efforts to rein in soaring prices and curb speculation have eased sales, while price rises have slowed.

Home prices in 70 major cities rose 11.4 percent in June from a year ago, but the pace was slower than in May (12.4 percent) and April (12.8 percent), data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

On a monthly basis, home prices last month dipped 0.1 percent from May.

Hopes that Beijing will ease its tightening policy lifted the Hang Seng Index 0.4 percent to 20,467.43 points. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.8 percent to close at 2490.72 - its highest in two weeks.

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