The recent aggressive land acquisition binge by cash-rich developers has lifted prices for residential sites on the mainland for a fourth straight month, reflecting growing optimism about the housing market.

The average prices for residential sites in 60 major cities rose 4% month on month in May to 1,121 yuan (HK$1,271) per square metre, according to the China Index Academy, a mainland property research organisation.

Land transaction prices were 2,512 yuan per square metre in Beijing, 2,546 yuan in Shanghai and 5,910 yuan in Guangzhou.

'Developers have shifted to a land bank expansion mode,' said Nomura International (Hong Kong) senior property analyst Lee Wee Liat.

South China Morning Post