Tue, Jun 19, 2012 - Page 13 News List

New home prices in most Chinese cities fell in May

AFP, BEIJING

A man carrying a child walks past a poster advertising a new residential area in Wuhan in China’s Hubei Province yesterday.

Photo: Reuters

Prices for new homes in China fell in more than half of major cities last month from April, official data showed yesterday, as the Chinese government vows to maintain controls over the property market.

Out of 70 cities tracked by Chinese authorities, 43 registered sequential falls in home prices last month, the same number as in April, China’s National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement.

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 certain cities.

However, the cities that recorded rises in home prices doubled to six, including Tianjin and Dalian in the north of the country, suggesting prices have started to rebound despite controls, analysts said.

Prices were unchanged in 21 cities, the bureau added.

Beijing has been encouraging banks to lend to first-time home buyers while at the same time seeking to clamp down on speculative demand.

China cut interest rates on June 8, which analysts believe could bring new life to the market.

“The government insists that its policy controls remain in place, but they do seem to be fraying at the edges,” Capital Economics said in a research report last week.

“But neither property prices nor real estate investment are likely to experience a sharp rebound,” it added. “Prices are likely to remain subdued.”

One Chinese analyst said a slowdown in property investment had limited supply, causing prices to edge higher.

“In general, home prices will maintain a trend of stable increases in future,” Shanghai-based Shenyin Wanguo Securities (申銀萬國證券) economist Li Huiyong (李慧勇) said.

Most Shanghai-listed property developers gained in morning trade yesterday, wsaith Guangzhou Donghua Enterprise jumping 3.85 percent to 6.48 yuan and Beijing Vantone Real Estate (萬通集團) rising 1.5 percent to 4.05 yuan.

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