Monday, 27 July 2009

Is the housing bubble still alive in China?

Certainly looks like it. From AFP/CNA:

Government stimulus measures and speculative investors have helped forge a surprising turnaround in the property market, with rocketing prices in some large cities sparking concerns of a new bubble...

In the Chinese capital, average house prices jumped 27 per cent from January to June, according to government data published in the state media.

Property prices across all major cities rose by 0.2 per cent in June from a year ago, government figures showed, ending falls since December, when the data posted the first decline since official records were published in mid-2005.

To lift the sector out of its slump, the government last year cut minimum deposits for first-time home buyers and slashed equity capital requirements on property investments.

It also lowered mortgage interest rates, while erasing stamp duty on all private home purchases and value-added tax for land on property sales...

But analysts said speculative money was also fuelling the rebound with the property market attracting hot money as a hedge against inflation.

Meanwhile, China's stock market today continued its recent surging run. From Bloomberg:

China’s stocks rose, with the benchmark index reaching twice the level of last year’s low in November, as Sichuan Expressway Co. tripled on its debut trade and metals producers gained on higher product prices...

The Shanghai Composite added 62.61, or 1.9 percent, to 3,435.21 at the close, a 13-month high. The gauge has doubled from its Nov. 4 low of 1,706.7 as the government implemented a stimulus package, banks tripled lending in the first half of 2009, and the economy rebounded in the second quarter. The CSI 300 Index, measuring exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen, gained 2.1 percent to 3,743.63.

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