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Housing report notes rise in sales (4)

By Zheng Yangpeng  (China Daily)

14:57, September 05, 2012

But analysts also noted that the current increase in sales is more likely to have been prompted by marginal incentives such as mortgage lending discounts, rather than any drop in house prices.

Ge Ling, director of Centaline China Property Research, said the trimming of interest rates has encouraged some first-time buyers to accelerate their purchasing plans.

Analysts are optimistic that the current rise in sales is expected to continue in June, but added that there was little hope of any significant price cuts.

Statistics from China Real Estate Index System, a private data provider, showed that average housing prices in 100 large Chinese cities fell at a slower pace a month-on-month in May, slipping by 0.31 percent from April. The April figure slipped 0.34 percent from March.

"The previous promotional price of some house developers has already resulted in turnover increases. Now there is thin room for more reductions," added Zhang Dawei, an analyst with Centaline.

Hu Jinghui, vice-president of the property brokerage 5i5j Real Estate, suggested the fine-tuning policies will increase the inelastic demand of first-time buyers, and bring about a rise in June sales.

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