China's 2nd-child policy drives thirst for larger houses
LARGE flats are preferred by young, married buyers in China now in the wake of the second-child policy and amid expectations of a further rise in home prices, industry experts say.
Industry data shows that 545 apartments, each with a floor space exceeding 300 sq m (3,229 sq ft), were sold in Beijing in the first eight months this year, up 36 per cent year on year.
In the same period, sales of smaller flats between 200 sq m and 300 sq m decreased 3 per cent year on year.
"The shrinking inventory of large houses up for sale in the capital tends to further push up their price," said Guo Yi, marketing director of real-estate consultancy Yahao.
"The average price of these units is estimated to exceed 44.77 million yuan (S$9.2 million), if calculated with the current market price per sq m."
Ren Li, general manager of Centaline China, said buyers looking for bigger homes to accommodate a possible second child are driving demand now.
Apartments close to educational institutions are also favoured.
According to Wang Fang, deputy general manager of China SCE Property Holdings' Beijing branch, demand is high for three-bedroom apartments in its project in Xicheng district, well known for its educational resources.
Demand far exceeded supply, though the overall cost of such an apartment has exceeded 20 million yuan.
China started to relax its family-planning policy in late 2013. It introduced the second-child policy, allowing certain couples to have two children. Two years later, the policy became universal.
Women of childbearing age living in Beijing, who are eligible for the new policy, are forecast to increase to 2.36 million, according to the Beijing Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning.
Statistics from real-estate brokerage Centaline China show that the rise in new home prices - particularly those of three-bedroom units, especially in Beijing - was higher after the second-child policy became universal.
ASIA NEWS NETWORK