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Property prices fall for eighth month

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 May, 2012, 12:00am

Mainland home prices fell for the eighth month in a row last month, data from one of the country's largest property research firms shows.

Year on year, prices fell for the first time last month by 0.71 per cent.

The average home price in the 100 cities tracked by China Index Academy declined 0.34 per cent last month from a month earlier to 8,711 yuan (HK$10,710) per square metre as the government continued its measures to stabilise home prices.

That was 0.04 of a percentage point higher than the decline in March. Seventy-one of the 100 cities recorded a month-on-month fall in flat prices last month.

Shenzhen had the largest slump in home prices, 0.8 per cent, among the mainland's 10 biggest cities.

In Shanghai and Beijing, prices fell 0.7 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively. Flat prices in 29 cities increased last month, in most cases by 0.5 per cent or less.

China Index Academy said: 'Although the sales volume of residential flats in different Chinese cities has climbed since Chinese New Year, developers faced stronger financial pressure and high inventory levels in the second quarter of this year. This caused developers to launch more flats and prices went downwards.'

David Ji Yanxun, property consultancy DTZ's head of Greater China research, said: 'Prices are falling gradually and slowly, which meets the government's wishes and expectations.'

He added: 'Earlier, we saw a slowdown in the growth of home prices, and now they have finally started to drop, which is happening about a year after the government introduced measures such as the home purchase restriction.

'Since prices have just started to fall, there is no sign that the government will loosen its grip on the market in the near future.'

Ji also said prices would continue to fall in the coming months.