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China's top property firms faced plummeting sales in Sept. on gov't curbs

(Xinhua)

16:17, October 14, 2011

BEIJING, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- China's large real estate enterprises reported declines in nationwide housing sales in September, a time when property developers had previously enjoyed robust sales, due to persistent high home prices and purchase limits.

China Vanke, China Overseas, R & F Properties, Country Garden, Agile Property and KWG Property have reported year-on-year declines in housing sales, the China Securities Journal reported Friday.

The largest drop reached 25.3 percent, the report said, without specifying which firm suffered the massive dip.

Country Garden's housing sales stood at 2.7 billion yuan (423 million U.S. dollars), down 21 percent year-on-year and down 54 percent from August, the report said.

Agile Property saw sales fall by 10 percent year-on-year to hit 2.8 billion yuan.

China Vanke, the country's largest property developer by market value, said Monday that September sales fell 12 percent from a year earlier to hit 12.51 billion yuan. This is the second month this year that the real estate tycoon has been confronted with a year-on-year sales drop.

The reluctance of large property firms to lower home prices in a bid to increase sales led to the nationwide contraction in home sales, the report said, citing analysis from the Beijing Centaline Real Estate Brokerage.

A further drop in housing sales may force some top real estate companies to cut prices in November and December, the agency said.

The government is scheduled to release data on September home prices next week.

In a bid to reign in the runaway property market, China undertook a series of tightening measures, including implementing home purchase restrictions, instituting higher down payment requirements, introducing a property tax in some cities and increasing borrowing costs.

In an article published last month, Premier Wen Jiabao stated that China was still facing relatively great pressure from housing price increases in both the short and long terms, and prices in most cities remained high. He urged local governments to resolutely implement the regulatory policies to show their full impact.

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