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Housing prices at 16-month low

By Wei Tian (China Daily)

12:06, June 02, 2012

People inquire about the price of houses at a fair in Fuzhou, Fujian province, on May 26. China's house prices fell to a 16-month low in May. [Photo/China Daily]

Preferential taxes and low interest rate attract more buyers to market

China's house prices fell to a 16-month low in May as officials pledged to keep property curbs that have sapped demand, according to SouFun Holdings Ltd, owner of the nation's biggest real estate website.

House prices declined 0.3 percent from April to 8,684 yuan ($1,364) per square meter, SouFun said in an e-mailed statement on Friday, based on its survey of 100 cities in the country.

The figure was the lowest since January last year and the ninth month-on-month decline. It is also the longest decline since Soufun started compiling the data in July 2010.

Housing values dropped in 73 cities while 26 posted gains, and one reported no changes in residential prices, SouFun said. Prices in the 10 biggest cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, retreated 0.5 percent from April, and dropped 3.2 percent year-on-year.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development said last month China will maintain its curbs on the housing market.

The ministry's statement came after the State Council pledged in April to stick with existing property controls implemented over the past two years, which have tightened restrictions on down payments and mortgages and imposed limits on the number of homes families can buy.

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