Fast forward to Friday, when at least two major Chinese private providers of home price data stopped publishing the figures, just as the housing market is stating to cool off at a dramatic pace across all Tier cities. According to Reuters, the China Index Academy, a unit of U.S.-listed Fang Holdings, has stopped distributing monthly housing price index data for 100 cities that it usually issued at the start of the month. The academy said it had suspended distribution indefinitely, without giving a reason for the suspension.The data actually stopped being published in October. September was the last month China Index Academy published it's monthly 100-city survey, which I covered at the start of each month.
"I don't know who exactly is making the order, and it's not mandatory," said a source with knowledge of the matter, who declined to be identified as the topic is a sensitive one.
Home price data from private providers tends to show sharper increases than official data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), which publishes monthly and annual percentage changes in 70 major cities. It also overextends on the downside, which according to official data, has now begun, and may explain the self-imposed censorship.
Buying Restriction Surge: New Home Prices Rocket 2.8pc in September
Restricted access began this autumn, when government restrictions didn't work and prices rocketed. A more serious crackdown began, and then the government survey (NBS 70-city) started showing mid-month data to prove restrictions were having an effect.
Reuters: Two China real estate consultancies halt monthly home price data
Now the buying restrictions are taking effect with the monthly home price growth slowing nationally, and turning negative in the first-tier.
Chinese Media Calls Top in First-Tier Housing Market
China Home Prices Slow, What Happens to Credit?
Credit makes the modern economy go. Credit growth is money supply growth in modern financial systems and without it, the economy will slow. Leave aside what is the right or wrong policy (whether the growth is sustainable or not): China wants stability in its economy, therefore it must have credit growth. If the housing market slows and mortgage lending slows, a new source of credit growth must be found. In July, loans to households increased 1.5 percent. In December, they still increased 1.5 percent. If household lending slows in 2017, as one would expect given the government's success with buying and credit restrictions, where will new loan demand come from?