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Property prices sink for sixth month

PROPERTY prices last month fell by 0.6 percent year-on-year in 70 medium and large Chinese cities, losing momentum for the sixth consecutive month since December, the National Development and Reform Commission said today.

Property prices dropped 1.1 percent in April, 1.3 percent in March, 1.2 percent in February, 0.9 percent in January and 0.4 percent in December.

However, on a month-over-month basis, prices rose 0.6 percent last month, according to the commission.

In particular, the prices of new homes declined an average 1.3 percent year-on-year while they edged up 0.7 percent from a month earlier.

The prices of second-hand homes, meanwhile, climbed 0.9 percent from a year earlier and they advanced 0.7 percent compared with April.

Twenty-eight cities registered year-on-year price increases in new homes while 41 recorded losses. On a month-over-month basis, 60 cities reported a growth in new home prices while six weakened, the commission said.

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

The National Bureau of Statistics said today that 1.0165 trillion yuan (US$148.8 billion) was invested in real estate development in the first five months, a year-on-year growth of 6.8 percent. Of this, investment in new housing development, excluding that designated for relocating residents because of urban redevelopment programs, gained 4.4 percent from a year earlier to 710.5 billion yuan.

Across the country, 357 million square meters of property started construction between January and May, a year-on-year decline of 16.2 percent. In the same period, 162 million square meters of property, including 133 million square meters of homes, were completed, up 22.6 percent and 23.6 percent, respectively, from a year ago.

Land acquisitions continued to plunge by 28.6 percent to 98.75 million square meters during the first five months, the bureau said.

Nationwide, sales of new homes, excluding those meant for relocated residents, soared 49 percent in the first five months while the volume of space rose 26.7 percent.

In Shanghai, the volume of new homes sold last month reached 2.1 million square meters, a month-on-month increase of 10.5 percent, according to E-house (China) Holdings Ltd.

In the second-hand market, a total of 29,300 units of used homes, or 2.37 million square meters, was sold in Shanghai last month, up 2.35 percent and down 0.6 percent, respectively, from April. The average price, meanwhile, rose 1.4 percent month-on-month to 11,838 yuan per square meter, according to Century 21 China Real Estate.


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