China’s real estate market defied the economic turmoil caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, with sales rising to a record after a strong recovery in the second half and a push by developers to shift unsold properties to raise cash as financing controls tightened, reported Caixin.
Property sales measured by area climbed 2.6% to 1.76 billion square meters, while by value they rose 8.7% to RMB 17.4 trillion, both the highest since the data series began in 1991, according to figures released Monday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The full-year increase reversed a plunge in the first two months of 2020 when year-on-year sales by area slumped 39.9% and sank 35.9% by value as large swathes of the country went into lockdown to control the virus.
The recovery was driven by residential housing, which accounts for almost 90% of the total property market. Sales rose 3.2% by area and 10.8% by value from 2019, NBS data show. The two smaller categories of commercial property –– such as retail space, warehouses and factories –– and offices both remained negative for the full year, the official data show.