China to change property price methodology

Keshia Faculin26 Oct 2017

China has revealed plans to tweak its methodology for calculating its home price index as the current system has met new challenges and difficulties, reported Reuters.

The move comes as China looks to “better facilitate state macro-control in the property market”, said National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) deputy director Li Xiaochao following a work meeting with a visiting German delegation.

Li, however, did not specify the challenges met by the current methodology. He also did not provide a timetable.

According to him, the changes would be made as the country actively learns from Germany and the European Union’s experiences.

First established in 1997, China’s real estate price survey system had two significant changes in its methodology, which included extending the number of cities covered. Today, the NBS compiles and publishes a property price index monthly that covers 70 large- and medium-sized cities.

The reliability of China’s official housing price index has been long questioned by critics as there has been significant discrepancy between the people’s general perception of price hikes and the official index.

China’s property prices have skyrocketed since late 2015, led by price hikes in its biggest cities. This forced 45 major cities to introduce property cooling measures since October 2016.

In September, new home prices rose 6.3 percent from the previous year, down from August’s 8.3 percent increase, as the government’s cooling measures began to bite.


This article was edited by Keshia Faculin.


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