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Vanke cuts price as it faces sales pressure

By Nie Peng (chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2010-05-17 11:50
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China Vanke Co, the country's largest property developer by market value, offered a price cut of as much as 800 yuan ($117.17) per square meter for two buildings of a housing project it has jointly developed with COFCO, the Economic Information Daily reported.

The apartments, officially opened on Sunday, were located between the southern Fourth and Fifth Ring Roads in the Fengtai district of Beijing and bore a price tag of 25,000 yuan per sq m, but customers who made a purchase on Sunday were given a preferential price of about 24,200 yuan, the newspaper said.

The 328 units currently on sale are all three-bed room apartments of around 90 sq m, according to the report.

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Figures from Beijing's statistics bureau showed that the average price of commercial housing within the Fourth Ring Road stands at 34,000 yuan per sq m.

The paper said Vanke had already felt sales pressure since the first quarter of this year, even without the recent regulative policy from authorities.

While the market was speculating if Vanke would again take a lead in cutting property prices, like it did in 2008, after the central government began to roll out new measures on April 15 to regulate the sizzling property market, Evergrande Real Estate Group on May 6 became the first major developer to cut prices by offering a 15 percent discount on its housing projects across the country.

Chen Zhi, deputy secretary of Beijing Real Estate Association, told the paper that Beijing's housing price had soared too rapidly for local residents to buy and money inflows and speculation had propelled robust price increases.

Chen added that the government could take further actions such as raising the interest rates if current measures were not effective in curbing property prices as the bubble from investment and speculative purchases was quite dangerous.

"This move by Vanke is very wise," Chen said. "Meanwhile, Vanke's price cuts are likely to have certain implications on the real estate market in the future."