The secondary markets for homes in Beijing and Shanghai diverged for the third consecutive month in March, according to the SCMP-CTC index, the product of a collaboration between the South China Morning Post and Century 21 China Real Estate (CTC), a mainland property consultancy.
Transactions in existing homes in Beijing fell to the lowest volume for March since 2009. As more buyers moved to the sidelines, the average secondary home price in the city dipped 0.11 per cent for the fourth consecutive month, to 42,392 yuan (HK$53,264) per square metre.
The average price rose 14.7 per cent year on year, less than February's gain of 17.5 per cent.
Shanghai's secondary home market showed more signs of stabilisation last month. Transactions rebounded to historical average levels after falling in the previous four months, and the average price edged up 0.98 per cent to 34,393 yuan per square metre. However, the year-on-year increase in average price also eased to 19.9 per cent from February's 22.2 per cent.
The SCMP-CTC secondary home price index remained unchanged at 162 in Beijing last month and inched up to 142 in Shanghai from 141 in February. The Beijing price index set May 2010 as the base period, equal to 100, while the base period for the Shanghai index is June 2010.
This is the first publication of the SCMP-CTC index of secondary home prices in Beijing and Shanghai. The index will be published in the middle of each month in Property Post.
"Beijing started April with an even bigger price fall," CTC said. "We expect both prices and transactions will drop in Beijing in the second quarter.
"The market in Shanghai is steadier. If there is no change in policies, including credit, transactions and prices will be rangebound."