Property investors create new hot spots

Updated: 2011-10-03 07:58

By Qiu Bo (China Daily)

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BEIJING - Government figures show the trading volume of apartments in Beijing was down 50 percent on the figure last year, with counties neighboring Beijing the new hot spots for property investors.

Property prices in Beijing have stabilized since last year, following the introduction of various policies to restrain soaring property prices, leaving speculators little room for earning. However, as a result, counties outside the capital have become a new target for investors.

"The demand for property in Beijing has now moved to neighboring counties in Hebei province," Li Wenjie, general manager for the North China region of property agency Centaline China, told China Daily on Sunday.

For instance, in less than a year, the average property price in Chicheng, a poor county in Beijing's neighboring Hebei province, almost doubled to more than 4,000 yuan ($626) per square meter according to Xinhua News Agency.

"Housing prices have risen dramatically. How can we ordinary people afford them?" A local resident surnamed Guo, who makes around 1,000 yuan a month, told Xinhua.

In Dachang Hui autonomous county, also in Hebei province, housing prices are now between 4,000 and 5,000 yuan per square meter, compared with 3,000 yuan a year ago and in Zhuozhou city, housing prices have risen 2,000 yuan per square meter in the last two years.

Although real estate developers put prodigious faith in September sales, demand in Beijing did not surge as expected this year.

The total trading volume of the city's commodity housing in September was down 51 percent compared with same month last year.

The weak demand will continue in October and the price will be dragged down, said Zhang Yue, chief analyst with property agency Home Link.

The average property price was 21,735 yuan a square meter last month, down slightly on August.

Zhang Dawei, chief researcher with Centaline China, told Beijing News that developers will have to lower their housing prices if they want to attract purchasers.

The central government reiterated its determination to rein in rising property prices in January, when the State Council released a range of strict policies to curb speculation in the property market.

Xinhua contributed to this story.