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Property prices fall in more Chinese cities in July

(Xinhua)

15:40, August 18, 2011

BEIJING, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- More cities reported lower or unchanged property prices in July amid renewed government efforts to cool the market, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

In July, some 31 cities out of the statistical pool of 70 major cities saw new home prices decline or remain unchanged from a month earlier, compared with 26 cities in June, the NBS said in a report on its website.

Fourteen cities saw month-on-month declines in new home prices in July, up from 12 in June. Meanwhile, prices in 17 cities, including Beijing and Hangzhou, remained unchanged, according to the NBS.

As for resold housing units, 22 cities reported second-hand home price declines month-on-month in July. Second-hand home prices stayed unchanged in 12 major cities in July from June, according to the NBS.

In the latest effort to curb property prices, the government has started to prepare home purchase restrictions in the country's second and third-tier cities to prevent prices from further increases.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development on Wednesday provided five standards that will decide whether to impose restrictions on smaller cities, including rapid growth in price or transaction volume in the first half.

The government has previously restricted residents in major cities from buying second or third homes. Home buyers were also required higher down payments for mortgages, and property taxes have been levied in the cities of Chongqing and Shanghai.

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