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Home prices continue to fall for 3rd consecutive month

HOME prices in major Chinese cities continued to go south last month, extending year-on-year losses for the third consecutive month.

Prices in 70 medium and large-sized cities fell 1.2 percent last month from a year earlier, versus a loss of 0.9 percent and 0.4 percent in January and December respectively, the National Development and Reform Commission said yesterday.

Prices for new and second-hand homes declined 1.8 percent and 0.7 percent on a yearly basis respectively, while on a month-on-month basis, they dipped 0.2 percent and 0.1 percent, according to the commission, the country's top economic planner.

Shanghai's housing prices fell 2.4 percent last month from a year ago and retreated 0.1 percent from a month earlier, according to the commission's online report. New apartment prices dropped 2.6 percent year on year but recorded no change from January. Second-hand house prices went down 2.2 percent on a yearly basis and were 0.2 percent lower than the previous month.

New home prices in 36 cities tracked by the commission declined from a month earlier, with Shijiazhuang, Wenzhou and Dandong being the biggest losers shedding 5.2 percent, 4.1 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively.

However, over the same period, 17 cities still recorded mild gains, with Shenyang increasing the most by 1.3 percent, followed by Jinzhou's 1 percent and Beihai's 0.7 percent.

Meanwhile, in the used-apartment sector, prices in 36 cities dropped while 20 cities gained, the commission said.

In Shanghai, sales of both new homes and second-hand houses rose over the past month as the market began to pick up some momentum after the traditional slack Spring Festival period. The sales could also be boosted by certain price corrections and demand for mid to low-class houses by end-users.

A total of 787,600 square meters of new homes, excluding those designated for relocated residents, were sold in the city last month, a month-on-month jump of 60 percent, according to latest statistics released by Shanghai Uwin Real Estate Information Services Co. The transaction volumes of second-hand homes at Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Ltd soared 138.6 percent from January to 98,730 square meters.


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