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Home prices continue downward slide in Nov

2014-12-19 08:58 Global Times Web Editor: Qin Dexing

Falls occur in most of 70 major cities, but have moderated from Oct

Home prices in 70 major -Chinese cities continued their downward spiral in November, official data showed Thursday, but a moderation in the price drops reinforced expectations of a possible recovery in the property sector.

The prices of new homes in all 70 cities tracked by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) declined or remained unchanged in November from the previous month, figures released by the bureau showed. It is the third consecutive month that newly built home prices have seen no increase month-on-month in all 70 major cities.

New home prices in Dalian, Northeast China's Liaoning Province, registered the largest decline of 1.4 percent in November from October among the 70 cities.

But the decrease moderated in November, with 48 out of the 70 cities experiencing a narrowing decline in its new home prices, Liu Jianwei, a senior statistician with the NBS, said in a statement posted on the bureau's website on Thursday.

New home prices in all 70 cities calculated by Everbright Securities fell 0.56 percent month-on-month in November, shrinking from October's 0.78 percent, signifying the real estate industry has entered a phase of recovery following a raft of loosening measures rolled out by the central government, Xu Gao, chief economist with Everbright Securities, said in a research note sent to the Global Times on Thursday.

The loosening measures include an interest rate cut announced by China's central bank on November 21, which helps to reduce the financing costs of housing loans and boost the real estate market.

Following the relaxed measures, commercial real estate transaction areas grew by 16.4 percent in November over the previous month across the country, while sales revenue also increased by 13.1 percent from October, according to data released by the NBS on December 12. Both transaction areas and sales revenue in November hit a yearly high.

The transaction area figure is always an indicator of the trend of development in the real estate market, and the November data is the earliest signifier of a possible warming in the property sector, Xia Dan, an analyst at Bank of Communications in Shanghai, said in a research note sent to the Global Times Thursday.

But new home prices are unlikely to rebound by a wide margin in the coming months as the industry is still facing serious overcapacity, Xia said.

There was further evidence of a possible warming in the property market in terms of secondhand home prices, which are more sensitive to changes in the market, Zhang Xu, an analyst with Homelink Real Estate Agency in Beijing, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Prices of secondhand homes in 12 of the 70 cities rose or stayed unchanged in November month-on-month, compared to six cities in October, according to data from the NBS.

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