While the number is likely influenced by the Chinese Lunar New Year, property consultant Shanghai UWin Real Estate Information Services Co. released an update on the Chinese new home sales market which is, to say the least troubling. Specifically, according to UWin, Shanghai new home prices fell 40.96% in the week ended January 29, compared to the previous week, to 16,144 yuan/square meter. If correct, it means that local homeowner violence is about to come back with a vengeance, as happened back in October when property developer office were stormed by angry mobs of home purchasers who saw an implosion in the indicated values of their purchases. Furthermore, not only has the market stalled, but it appears to be frozen, with just 4,400 square meters of new transactions closing, or an 89.21% drop on the week. And while the holiday has an impact, the volume is 36% of the 7 year average for Chinese holidays, so there is more in play here than just a seasonal grind. So just like the Baltic Dry where everyone is expecting a surge "any minute now" that the Chinese new year is over, nervous China bulls will have this new vertical to keep track of and make sure that it is merely a blip, as the alternative is a full blown Chinese housing bubble collapse.
More specifics from Bloomberg:
- New home transactions by area plunged 89% W/w in Jan. 23-Jan. 29 to 4,400 sq/m, Uwin says in e-mailed statement.
- Sales during Chinese New Year holiday decline to lowest level since 2006 for same period; volume 36% of 7-yr avg. for CNY holiday
- Avg. new home price down 41% W/w
- New home supplies plunged 87% W/w
- Property developers may have to continue price cuts for cashflow to survive, Uwin analyst Zhijian Huang says
- China may remove or relax home purchase restrictions during June-Oct period: Huang
- Policy turnaround may boost sales before home prices rebound moderately: Huang