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People's Daily Online>>China Business

More cities see price of new homes fall as market cools

By Cao Qian (Shanghai Daily)

09:29, January 19, 2012

MORE Chinese cities reported falls in new home prices last month as tightening measures continued to have an impact on the market, the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday.

Excluding government-funded affordable housing, prices fell month-on-month in 52 of the 70 cities tracked by the bureau in December, compared to 49 in November, 34 in October and 17 in September.

Prices remained unchanged in 16 cities, the same as in November, and rose in the remaining two, both by 0.1 percent, it said.

In Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, where home purchase restrictions have been rigorously enforced, new home prices fell by between 0.2 and 0.5 percent from a month earlier. They dipped by between 0.3 and 0.4 percent in November.

New home prices in Nanjing, Hangzhou and Jiujiang, all in east China, dropped the most in December, down 0.7 percent from a month earlier, while those in Guiyang in the southwest and Yinchuan in the northwest gained 0.2 percent.

"What was worth noticing is that as rein-in measures remain enforced across the country, year-on-year declines were also registered in more cities last month, further proof that the current downward trend in prices is being firmly extended," said Huang Hetao, a research manager at the Shanghai branch of Century 21 China Real Estate.

Year-on-year, nine cities saw a decrease in new home prices last month, more than double that in November.

Government data released yesterday also showed that prices for previously owned homes fell in 51 cities in December, unchanged from November.

"Over the next six months, we don't really anticipate any significant changes in the country's overall tightening policies," said Edward Cheung, chief executive officer of DTZ China, a real estate services provider. "The residential market will probably remain in the doldrums at least until the second half of this year when cooling measures might be lifted."

China's average home prices will probably fall between 10 to 20 percent this year, according to a Reuters survey which canvassed opinions from 21 respondents, including economists and property market analysts.

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