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China’s housing market continues to cool due to rein-in measures

HOME prices in China's 15 first and key second-tier cities stabilized further in April as rein-in measures to curb speculation continued to bite, the National Bureau of Statistics said today.

All 15 cities, where the strictest tightening measures have been imposed, registered slower year-on-year growth in new home prices compared to March. Growth decelerated by 0.7 percentage point to 7.4 percentage points last month, compared with a range of 0.2 percentage point to 6 percentage points in March, the bureau's data showed.

On a month-over-month basis, six cities recorded new home price gains, compared to nine cities in March.

"New home prices in the country's four first-tier cities rose at a slower pace for seven straight months while those in second-tier cities climbed at a slower rate for five consecutive months, with various rein-in measures imposed in different cities taking effect continuously," said Liu Jianwei, a senior statistician at the bureau, which monitors prices in new and pre-occupied home markets in 70 major cities. "Those in tertiary cities, however, climbed at a slightly faster pace."

Among the 70 cities, 30 cities recorded slower year-on-year new home price growth in April, an increase of six from March. On a month-over-month basis, 23 cities registered slower price growth, an increase of 13 from March, the bureau said.

In Shanghai, new home price fell 0.2 percent in April from a month earlier, compared to a 0.1 percent retreat in March.

In Beijing and Guangzhou, prices of new houses climbed by 0.2 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively, last month, slower from the 0.4 percent and 2.5 percent increases recorded a month earlier. Shenzhen, however, saw new home price unchanged last month, compared to a 0.3 percent drop in March.

A separate research released by Centaline Property showed that lackluster sentiment continued to prevail among home buyers across the country. A total of 24.09 million square meters of new residential properties were sold last month in 40 Chinese cities tracked by Centaline, a drop of 18 percent from March.

Tightening measures currently adopted in many Chinese cities to curb property speculation mainly include stricter home purchase restrictions, higher down payment requirement and mortgage rate, a lock-up period for home sale that often lasts a few years as well as controlled sale price for new developments.


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