China new home sales rise sharply in March - survey

China's new home sales rose sharply in March, as a slew of support policies boosted a pickup in demand across the board in 14 surveyed cities, a private survey showed on Monday.

The sales of new homes rose 55.7% month-on-month, up from growth of 31.9% in February, according to data from the China Index Academy — one of the country's largest independent real estate researchers.

Tier-one cities — including the nation's capital Beijing and the commercial hub of Shanghai — rose the fastest, jumping 73% last month. Sales in tier-two cities and tier-three cities grew 54.7% and 28.6%, respectively.

The data will be welcome news for the sector, once the pillar of China's economic growth, but which was crushed by several crises since mid-2021, including developers' debt defaults and stalled construction of pre-sold housing projects.

Policymakers in the country had introduced a comprehensive bailout package at the end of last year to propel sales and enable project completions, which helped improve the sentiment.

Real estate developers (.CSI000952) gained 2.4% on Monday.

The industry has also seen some gradual recovery in recent weeks, as homebuyers look to make a return after Beijing abandoned its stringent "zero-COVID" policy in December.

Local governments, too, continued to ease property curbs or roll out stimulus polices to improve buyers' sentiment. The southeastern city of Xiamen relaxed home-buying curbs, allowing more residents to purchase properties.

Prices of new homes in 100 Chinese cities rose at the fastest pace in nine months in March, a separate survey by the researcher showed on Saturday.