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People's Daily Online>>China Business

New urban home prices slide in March

By Hu Yuanyuan (China Daily)

13:24, April 19, 2012

A family visits a housing exhibition in Jilin, a city in Jilin province. Prices of new homes continued to fall in March amid government tightening measures. [Photo/China Daily]

New home prices in two-thirds of China's major cities fell in March, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday, and analysts said further declines were likely as the government's tightening measures continue.

Out of 70 major cities tracked by the government, 46 recorded falls, one more than in February, the NBS said in a statement.

Only eight cities registered price rises, while 16 were flat.

New home prices in Beijing and Shanghai each declined 0.8 percent year-on-year in March. On a monthly basis, Beijing saw a dip of 0.4 percent while Shanghai experienced a fall of 0.2 percent, the bureau said.

"We expect new home prices to continue to decline further as the government's tight real estate policies are set to continue, and the trend will persist at least through the first half of 2012," said Qin Xiaomei, chief researcher at Jones Lang LaSalle.

The State Council said on Friday that the government would "maintain property control policies without wavering", even after economic growth slowed to a near three-year-low of 8.1 percent in the first quarter of 2012.

Andy Zhang, managing director of Cushman & Wakefield China, said there is still ample room for home prices to drop in the coming months.

"The recent rebound in property transactions is unsustainable as investment-oriented purchases are still under strict control," said Zhang.

China has been curbing the sector for more than one year, including restricting the number of homes a family could purchase, hiking minimum down payments and introducing property taxes in select cities. All those measures targeted investment buyers.

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