China home prices fall in most cities in March
- Published: 18/04/2012 at 01:32 PM
- Online news:
New home prices in two-thirds of China's major cities fell in March, the government said Wednesday, as officials maintain policies to curb the property market.
Potential Chinese real estate investors view property for sale at the Overseas and China Property Expo in Beijing on April 5, 2012. New home prices in two-thirds of China's major cities fell in March, the government said Wednesday, as officials maintain policies to curb the property market.
China has implemented several measures aimed at limiting runaway property prices for more than a year, including bans on buying second homes, hiking minimum down-payments and introducing property taxes in select cities.
Out of 70 major cities tracked by the government, 46 recorded falls in home prices in March from the previous month, the National Bureau of Statistics said -- one more than February.
Only eight cities registered price rises while costs were unchanged in 16, the bureau said in a statement.
"New home prices are generally continuing to go lower," it said.
Cities with active property markets such as Beijing and Shanghai, and Guangzhou and Shenzhen in the south, have seen prices fall for six straight months, the bureau said.
Analysts say measures aimed at limiting prices are threatening the country's economy as property investment helps drive growth while revenue from land sales is a key source of income for local governments.
"The policies have already affected the real economy," said Xu Sitao, global forecasting director for China at the Economist Intelligence Unit.
"Looking at current property prices, they still have not fallen to the government's policy target -- estimating this target is five, 10 percent -- so we think this will continue," he told reporters at a conference.
The government, which has faced widespread criticism over unaffordable housing prices, has remained firm.
The State Council, or cabinet, said 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 this year's first quarter.
But property shares rose on Wednesday despite the official data, as investors hoped the government would selectively roll back some measures to help property firms, dealers said.
Developer Zhejiang Dongri closed up 10 percent while China Enterprise ended up 5.38 percent in trading on the Shanghai stock exchange.
The broader market was up almost two percent.
About the author
- Writer: AFP
Position: News agency