China's home prices fall in November for seventh month in a row
Mainland home prices fell on a monthly basis for the seventh straight month in November, with the market yet to feel the full impact of the recent interest rate cut.
The average price of a new home in 100 major cities was 10,589 yuan (HK$13,379) per square metre in November, down 0.38 per cent from October, the independent China Index Academy said.
The fall was a slight improvement from the 0.40 per cent month-on-month drop in October, previous figures showed.
"We expect the interest rate cut to kick in next year," said Bai Yanjun, research director for the China Index Academy.
"We still believe the market is under downward pressure for the rest of 2014 because the current home inventory levels in first-tier and major second-tier cities are still high," he said.
Beijing cut both lending and deposit rates just over a week ago, and analysts said home mortgage buyers would be among the biggest beneficiaries.
"The rate cut sends a strong signal that the property market will likely bottom out soon," Lu Ting, China economist for Merrill Lynch Hong Kong, said in a research note.
On a year-on-year basis, the mainland's new home prices fell 1.57 per cent from the same month last year, far sharper that the annual fall of 0.52 per cent in October, the academy said.
But for the 10 biggest cities - which tend to have the most active property markets - new home prices rose 0.07 per cent in November from October, marking the first gain after six months of declines, it said.
Shanghai was the best performing with housing prices rising 1.18 per cent in November from October to 32,140 yuan per square metre, making it the second-most expensive city behind Beijing.
The central government had previously sought to rein in runaway property prices using cooling measures.
But cities began rolling back some of the measures this year, as the economy slowed and the central government relented.