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China home prices continue to cool in November

CHINA'S property sector continued to cool in November, but the declines have been narrowing on the support of government policy adjustments, official data showed on Thursday.

New home prices in 67 out of 70 major cities reported month-on-month drops last month, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said, whereas prices in the cities of Hefei, Nanjing and Shenzhen remained flat.

New home prices in Beijing and Shanghai dropped by 0.3 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively, narrowing from 1.3-percent and 0.7-percent falls a month earlier.

For existing homes, only 58 cities saw prices drop last month, compared with 64 in October. Six cities, mostly first-tier cities such as Beijing and Shenzhen, saw second-hand home prices rise.

NBS senior statistician Liu Jianwei attributed the narrowing decreases to government policy changes intended to avoid a sharp slowdown in the sector out of fear of jeopardizing the broader economy.

Those moves include fewer restrictions on home purchases and eased mortgage rules. In addition, the central bank last month decided to lower the one-year benchmark lending rate and deposit rate to cut financing costs.

All combined, the policies did have a positive impact on the sluggish market. In November, home sales reached a monthly high for this year, registering 809.6 billion yuan (US$130.9 billion), 93.8 billion yuan more than October.


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