Beijing home sales surge on policy change

During the first weekend under new rules more than 5,000 homes were sold in Beijing.

Photo by Kuang Da

Photo by Kuang Da

By YANG Bingke


A new mortgage policy in Beijing has sent home sales flying, at least for now.

If a homebuyer does not own any residential properties in Beijing, they will be treated as a first-time buyer, cutting the down-payment ratio from 80 percent to 40 percent.

Stepping up policy

On the first weekend of the new policy regime, the real estate market took a deep breath and welcomed a long-awaited surge in sales. On Saturday, more than 1,800 new homes were sold in the capital, with another 900 snapped up on Sunday. In August - the low point of Beijing's property market this year, only 3,000 new homes sold in the entire month.

The second-hand housing market was equally heated, with over 2,600 sales on the weekend, more than double last weekend's effort. More than 4,000 new listings were added to a popular housing platform.

From surge to blip

ZHANG Dawei, chief analyst at Centaline, said many of the transactions were customers who had already viewed properties and paid deposits. The number of new buyers has not increased.

GUO Yi of United Harvest, also believes that the transactions were primarily driven by families who delayed their purchase while waiting for the new policy. The fear is that the small amount of pent-up demand released might be all there is to come. The market will carry on steadily downward if the surge becomes a blip.

Beijing may move again, though further action risks encouraging the prevalent "wait and see" attitude.