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Property sales in Chinese cities sluggish in August (2)

(China Daily)

13:47, September 13, 2011

SLUGGISH MARKET

The capital's new home sales dropped to 5,506 units in August, with daily sales of less than 200 units., according to the statistics posted on Beijing's real estate transaction management website. Beijing's new home transaction volume last month slumped 36.7 percent from July, or 16.4 percent from a year earlier, an all-time low in nearly three years, according to the website.

The housing prices in Beijing also saw a declining trend starting from May. According to the website, in the first five months of this year, the average new home price was 14,127 yuan per sq m.

In the first six months, the figure dropped to 13,623 yuan. The average price declined further to 13,623 yuan per sq m in the first seven months.

Xinhua reported the east Beijing's Tongzhou District has witnessed a roller-coaster surging and plummeting of new home prices since last year.

A real estate in the district, Runfeng Lingshang, had been expected to be priced at 25,000 yuan (3,906 U.S. dollars) per sq m in 2009. But when contacted by Xinhua on Sept. 7, a saleswoman of the project said its homes will be sold at 13,000 yuan (2,031 U.S. dollars) per sq m.

"The property prices in Tongzhou District have fallen back to the level of 2009," a manager of Yahao Real Estate Selling and Consulting Agency told Beijing Business Today.

Apart from Tongzhou District, many real estates in Beijing's Fangshan and Daxing District also offered large discounts amid sales stagnation recently, according to Xinhua.

In Shanghai, the average home price was 22,026 yuan per sq m in August, almost the same as in July, according to China Real Estate Information Corporation. But the new home sales plummeted 25 percent from July, or 18 percent from a year earlier, hitting a new low since August 2005.

Another Xinhua report published on Sept. 9 said the 106 listed property companies' overall asset-liability ratio increased 3.58 percent in the first half of this year to 72.25 percent. The total inventory of the 106 firms topped 964.011 billion yuan (151 billion U.S. dollars), up 38.39 percent.

On Sept. 5, China Vanke Co., the country's largest property developer by market value, announced in a statement that its sales for August fell 12.6 percent from a year earlier.

In order to ward off risks, China Merchants Property Development Co., another giant property developer, vowed it will "actively participate in the constructions of affordable housing projects in major cities."

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