More Chinese expect house prices to rise, says survey

BEIJING: An increasing number of Chinese think house prices will rise further, but fewer bankers expect a pre-emptive monetary policy tightening, according to a quarterly survey by the People's Bank of China released on Sunday, Sept 19.

Out of 20,000 consumers surveyed, 36.6% replied that property inflation would continue to accelerate, up from 29.4% in the previous poll published in June.

In a separate survey of bankers from 2,900 branches, 63.9% of respondents said monetary policy would remain unchanged in the next quarter, up from 51.4% in the second quarter.

In the same vein, 69.4% of the bankers said the current monetary policy stance was appropriate. The figure was 11.5 percentage points higher than in the previous poll.

Beijing launched a series of measures in April, including higher down payments, to deter speculative property buying.

Real estate prices in 70 key cities were flat in August and July, resulting in a drop in the annual rate of property inflation, according to official statistics.

But anecdotal evidence is mounting of a rebound in transactions and prices as the impact of the curbs fades.

The authorities are closely monitoring trends but are not yet planning fresh tightening steps, a banking regulatory official said in remarks published last Saturday.

In the central bank survey, 72.2% of consumers responded that current property prices are "too high and hard to accept", while 15.6% of them said they planned to buy an apartment in the next three months. — Reuters
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