July 2, 2009

China real estate prices soar again

An indication Chinese real estate prices have resumed their stratospheric trend came this week when a piece of land in Beijing went for a record $585 million.

Only 15 months ago, the same land parcel near Beijing's Guangqu Road was withdrawn from a public tender as there were no bidders, the China Daily reported Friday. The plot's area was not given.

But this time around, there was fierce bidding among major developers both from the mainland and Hong Kong at an auction where the final price was $585 million, a record for a single land parcel in the Chinese capital, the report said.

Such trends are being noticed across the country, the report said. Brokers estimate residential property appreciated 6.5 percent in Beijing's Central Business District in just the past week.

In Shanghai, developers of the luxury Tomson Rivers apartments sold 10 units in the first 25 days of June, the report said. Prior to that, the developers, whose apartments generally are priced at about $14,000 per square meter or about $1,308 per square foot, had only sold four of the units since Tomson Rivers came in the market in 2005, the report said.

In Guangzhou, the downtown housing price hit about $150 a square foot in May, close to the record high of $158 set in October 2007, official statistics showed.

While people have a strong perception of excessive liquidity and further price growth, the possibility of a bubble is pretty big, Gu Yunchang, secretary-general of the China Real Estate Association, told the newspaper.