Property prices in second-tier Chinese cities such as Kunming surged last month. Photo: iStock

China continued to see a generally stable housing market in May, with home prices in 70 major cities showing mild month-on-month increases, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

New home prices in four first-tier cities – Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou – rose by 0.7% month on month in May, 0.5 percentage points higher from one month earlier, said the NBS.

China’s second-tier cities saw a month-on-month increase of 0.6% in new home prices, up 0.1 percentage points from the previous month, while third-tier cities witnessed a month-on-month rise of 0.7% in new home prices, compared with a 0.6% increase reported in April.

Last month, property prices in the secondary market in first-tier cities edged up 1.1% month on month, unchanged from one month earlier.

In second- and third-tier cities, prices of resold housing increased by 0.4% and 0.3% from the previous month, respectively.

With the continuous resumption of production, the housing demand was further unleashed in May, said Kong Peng, a senior NBS statistician.

Monday’s data also showed that commercial housing sales in terms of floor area totaled 487.03 million square meters in the first five months, down 12.3% year on year, narrowing by 7 percentage points from the January-April decline.

China’s investment in property development inched down 0.3% year on year in the first five months, narrowing from the 3.3% decline during the January-April period.

Wen Bin, chief analyst at China Minsheng Bank, said the real estate market in major cities had witnessed a delayed pick-up as the housing supply and demand, which had been hit by Covid-19, were gradually unleashed recently.

With continuous improvement in major indicators including commercial housing sales, Wen predicted the country’s property investment growth would return to positive territory.

Special government bonds

China will issue 100 billion yuan (US$14.1 billion) of special government bonds for Covid-19 control measures in a bid to balance epidemic control with economic and social development, said the Ministry of Finance (MoF).

The MOF will issue two batches of fixed-rate special bonds, including 50 billion yuan of five-year bonds and 50 billion yuan of seven-year bonds. Both will be listed and traded on June 23, 2020.

China will pursue a more proactive and impactful fiscal policy, setting its fiscal deficit above 3.6% of GDP and issuing 1 trillion yuan of government bonds for Covid-19 control this year to release more funds for companies and individuals.

Huawei and IDC

Huawei and International Data Corporation (IDC) have jointly pre-released a white paper on reshaping banking for the recovery era for 2020 during the Huawei Global Financial Services Industry Summit 2020, which was held on June 10-11.

The white paper is scheduled to be published globally in August. The IDC believes there will be five key stages of recovery and at each stage there will be opportunities to optimize new growth.

The banking industry overall stands in a strong position to weather the stresses of 2020 and it should be utilized this time to reinforce its overall capabilities and reassess priorities in terms of digital transformation.

The year 2020 has witnessed unprecedented systemic shocks triggered by Covid-19, but as with all other crises, both challenges and opportunities arrived at the same time.

The white paper will analyze the responses of banks to the trials of current business conditions, dissecting the best responses from across the world in terms of both tactical and strategic responses, and establish a firm recovery framework that banks and other financial institutions can adopt to position themselves to better reach and serve their customer needs for the upcoming recovery phase.

The story was written by Yang Zhijie and Liu Licong and first published at ATimesCN.com. It was translated by Nadeem Xu.