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Home prices decline in most Chinese cities in August

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-09-18 10:15

China's property sector showed new signs of cooling in August as more cities reported month-on-month price drops, although at a milder pace, latest official data showed on Thursday.

Out of 70 major Chinese cities, new homes in 68 saw month-on-month price declines in August, compared with 64 in July, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a statement.

Xiamen in southeastern Fujian province is the only sampled city that saw month-on-month price gains in new home prices last month, compared with two cities for July and eight cities for June, the NBS data showed.

New home prices in Xiamen edged up by a fractional 0.2 percent month-on-month while new home prices in Wenzhou of East China's Zhejiang province remained flat in August.

Hangzhou, the provincial capital of Zhejiang, saw new home prices dropping the most of the 70 cities, down by 2.1 percent from July. New home prices in Beijing and Shanghai dropped by 1.2 percent and 1.3 percent month-on-month, respectively.

For existing homes, 67 major Chinese cities saw price drops in August, up from 65 cities in July, according to the NBS. Price of existing homes in the southern economic hub of Guangzhou decreased the most by 1.4 percent.

"Home prices in the majority of cities dropped on a monthly basis, but for some of them, the pace of decline has narrowed," said Liu Jianwei, a senior statistician at the NBS.

Liu said that among the 68 cities that saw new home prices drop from a month ago, 21 have witnessed a narrower decline, notably up from eight in July. As for existing homes, the number stood at 25 out of 67, compared with only three such cities in July.

Thursday's data further shows China's property sector, once regarded as a growth engine for the world's second largest economy, is experiencing a slowdown.

Real estate investment growth slowed to 13.2 percent year-on-year in the first eight months of 2014 from 13.7 percent in the January-July period, the NBS said on Saturday. The total area of property sales and sales volume also fell.

Property developers have struggled for the first half, pushing them to offer price discounts to unload stock faster. A Moody's report on Wednesday said the H1 financial results of developers have weakened, citing slower cash collection, smaller profit margin and rising debt levels.

But the rating agency said the situation will improve in the second half as rated developers deliver more projects, and as liquidity and sales increase.

Home prices decline in most Chinese cities in August Home prices decline in most Chinese cities in August
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