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Home prices fall 1.1% in April

HOME prices last month fell for a fifth straight month by 1.1 percent year on year in 70 Chinese medium and large cities, the National Development and Reform Commission said yesterday.

By comparison, the prices dropped 1.3 percent in March, 1.2 percent in February, 0.9 percent in January and 0.4 percent in December.

In particular, the prices of new homes dropped an average 1.7 percent year on year while they edged up 0.3 percent from a month earlier. The prices of second-hand homes remained unchanged from a year earlier while they inched up 0.8 percent from March, according to the commission.

Investment in the real estate sector, meanwhile, continued to increase.

The National Bureau of Statistics yesterday said 729 billion yuan (US$87.8 billion) were invested in real estate in the first four months, a year-on-year growth of 4.9 percent. Investment in new housing development, excluding those designated for relocated residents due to urban redevelopment programs, rose 3.4 percent from a year earlier to 511.4 billion yuan.

The market saw a year-on-year drop of 15.6 percent when a total of 278 million square meters of homes started construction countrywide between January and last month. During the same period, 132 million square meters of new homes were completed, a rise of 27.1 percent from a year ago.

Land acquisitions, however, plunged 28.6 percent to 72.66 million square meters, the bureau said.

Nationwide, sales of new homes, excluding those meant for relocated residents, jumped 38.6 percent in the first four months while the volume of space rose 18.6 percent.

In Shanghai, the volume of new homes sold last month hit 1.89 million square meters, a month-on-month rise of 25 percent and an annualized surge of 97 percent, Shanghai Uwin Real Estate Information Services Co said.

A total of 28,600 units of used homes, or 2.38 million square meters, were sold in Shanghai last month, up 11 percent and 21 percent, respectively, from March.


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