Chinese House Prices Drop Again

House prices in China fell for the fourth month in a row in December 2011, new figures have revealed. Statistics compiled by China Real Estate Index System and SouFun Holdings show average values...

House prices in China fell for the fourth month in a row in December 2011, new figures have revealed. Statistics compiled by China Real Estate Index System and SouFun Holdings show average values dropped in 60 of the 100 cities examined compared with November, with the average price standing at 8,809 yuan (GBP 894.50) per square metre of space - a trend that may lead to real estate investment opportunities for some buyers.

While average home values in China were up by almost 2.9 per cent in December compared with the same month in 2010, this was a lower rate of growth compared with an increase of just over four per cent in the 12 months to November 2011, Dow Jones reported. In all, 37 Chinese cities recorded a monthly rise in house prices, with three locations seeing no change.

Peter Bai Hongwei of investment bank China International Capital told Bloomberg that he believes property prices will reach their lowest level in the third quarter of this year. However, he added: "It's actually very hard to tell whether China's property market will succeed a soft landing." The report comes as cities such as Shanghai mull the possibility of continuing measures to restrict house purchases in 2012. Mr Bai said: "Property is likely to be the last sector that the government will relax policies this year."

The figures follow a publication issued by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) last month pointing to a drop in both new and existing home sale prices in November compared with October. Prices of newly-built houses fell in 49 of the 70 cities assessed by the agency, while those of second-hand residences decreased in 51 locations. The NBS's figures replaced China's previous national property price index - which included data on median house values - in February last year.

- Thursday 05 January 2012

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