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Property sales in Chinese cities sluggish in August

(China Daily)

13:46, September 13, 2011

BEIJING, Sept. 13 (Xinhuanet) -- New home prices, property transaction volumes and residential land prices in major Chinese cities all fell in August, suggesting the policies aiming at cooling the housing market are taking effect.

A report published by the China Index Academy (CIA) said the prices for new homes in ten first-tier cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, dropped 0.41 percent in August from July to 15,773 yuan (2,465 U.S. dollars) per sq m, the first decline since September of last year.

On a month-on-month basis, new home prices in 44 of the 100 cities monitored by the Beijing-based institution saw declines in August, up from 33 cities in July. Seven of the ten first-tier cities saw month-on-month drops, according to the CIA.

Meanwhile, the average floor price for residential land in 133 Chinese cities studied by the CIA plunged 9 percent to 1,619 yuan (253 U.S. dollars) per sq mr in August, said the institution.

The transaction volumes for residential land in the cities continued to drop to 20.18 million sq m last month, down 17 percent from the same month last year and down 14 percent from a year earlier, according to the CIA.

Analysts attributed the property transaction declines in the major cities to the Chinese government's adoption of a serious of measures earlier this year to curb soaring real estate prices. These measures included purchase restrictions, higher minimum down payment requirements, property taxes in the municipalities of Chongqing and Shanghai, and constructions of more government-subsidized apartments.

"The growing trend of the property prices in the past one year came to a halt in August, indicating that the property-cooling measures are bearing fruit now," Liu Haibo, southern region general manager of the CIA, was quoted as saying by China News Service.

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