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December 20, 2016

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Biting moves cool housing market

THE housing markets in China’s first and second-tier cities cooled in November as tightening measures imposed by local governments to prevent a property bubble continued to bite, the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday.

The average new home prices added an average 0.1 percent last month in first-tier cities and 0.4 percent in second-tier ones, down from 0.5 percent and 1.3 percent in October, according to the bureau, which tracks housing prices in new and pre-owned markets across 70 cities.

In the pre-owned home market, prices were flat in November in first-tier cities, and rose 0.3 percent in second-tier ones, compared with a month-on-month growth of 0.6 percent and 0.8 percent in October.

Liu Jianwei, the bureau’s senior statistician, said home markets in first and second-tier cities cooled last month while third-tier markets remained stable.

“Specifically, (prices in) gateway cities seemed almost flat while slower growth was registered in second-tier cities,” Liu said.

In November, Guangzhou was the only one of the four first-tier cities which posted a 0.9 percent gain in prices for new homes month on month. Prices in Beijing were flat while they fell in both Shanghai by 0.1 percent and in Shenzhen by 0.3 percent from a month earlier, the bureau’s data showed.

Across the country, the number of cities seeing month-on-month price growth in new and pre-owned housing markets in November fell by seven and eight, respectively, according to the bureau.

The number of cities where prices in the two markets fell from a month earlier rose by four and seven, respectively, the bureau added.

More than 20 cities, all first and key second-tier ones, introduced their new round of rein-in policies since late September to cool buyers’ sentiment and combat rapidly soaring prices.

To provide a deeper insight into the most recent changes in the country’s property market, the bureau also released data for the second half of November after monitoring 15 first and second-tier cities.

New home prices in nine of the 15 cities fell in the second half of last month — by between 0.1 percent and 0.9 percent — from the first half. Prices in two cities were flat and the remaining four cities posted a slower rise of no more than 1 percent, the bureau said.

“These tightening measures, varying from city to city, proved to be effective to leave an immediate impact on the property market where home prices have stabilized,” Liu said.


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