In contrast to sluggish home sales in many large cities at the beginning of 2012, the final weeks of 2012 seems to be a feast for the property market. In Shanghai and Shenzhen, developers claim that their properties are sold out as soon as the booking period begins. However, some property buyers are suspicious about this.
According to figures from the National Bureau of Statistics, 53 out of a statistical pool of 70 major cities in November recorded higher new home prices than a month earlier. This was up from 35 in October.
But Luo Yinshen, a regional analyst with 21st Century Real Property, says the property market is not as flourishing as it seems.
"Currently, the phenomenon of 'sold-out-in-one-day property' has caused a certain panic among the public. I think it's possibly due to some property developers' deliberately hoarding property. The speculation may continue for a period of time."
The property market in 2012 experienced a downturn after a series of policy adjustments by the central government to curb the over-speculation trend.
Despite a slight rebound in July, the property market didn't see much of an increase in sales during the traditional golden season in September and October. But prices in general continued to rise.
Ren Xingzhou, Director of the Market Economy Research Institute of the Development Research Center of the State Council, says several factors are behind the current boom in the property market.
"On the one hand, after two years' of market adjustments, we have accumulated some rigid demand. This year, a series of policies was issued to support these demands, such as the lowering of interest rates for consumers who wanted to buy their first home. Now we are seeing the results. On the other hand, the supply of apartment units increased to a certain level at the end of the year. In addition, property developers, especially some big ones, have met their sales goals. That's why they don't need to offer sales promotions."
Still, Luo Yinshen believes the macroeconomic environment will remain tight for the real estate market.
"Currently, there is no sign of a big policy change. I think the policy will remain tight to curb the market."
According to a government think tank, housing prices in most Chinese cities will continue to rise in December and into 2013. But the government will maintain its property market controls next year.
The country's urban population, which outgrew that of rural areas for the first time at the end of 2011, is expected to account for 70 percent of the total population by 2030.
For CRI, I am Li Dong.