Property firm Beijing North Star has suffered an 81.3 per cent slump in first-half residential sales as buyers held back ahead of planned housing reforms for the city. Residential sales accounted for just 12.6 per cent of the H share's net profit of 96.87 million yuan (about HK$90.36 million), with investment property making up the remainder. North Star sold only 7,200 square metres of housing, yielding revenue of 13.8 million yuan, compared with 144,000 sq metres in the first half of last year. The slump came against a city-wide decline in residential sales to 770,000 sq metres from 3.77 million sq metres previously, the firm said. Chairman Sha Wanquan said he believed the worst was over and Beijing's property market would pick up in the second half. Beijing's recent announcement of housing reforms and relevant taxation rules would help lift residential sales in the second half, Mr Sha said. Beijing lags other big mainland cities in terms of the proportion of individual buyers, the growing force in home sales. Individuals accounted for just 54.8 per cent of home sales in Beijing during the first half, compared with 92.5 per cent in Shanghai, 94.3 per cent in Tianjin and 94.7 per cent in Shandong. The company had seen its home prices and office rentals fall 10 per cent in the first half, Mr Sha said. He said pre-sales of its Green Home residential project would begin in the second half.