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Urban residential land prices recorded their first quarterly slump in the first three months of this year since the second quarter of 2009, reflecting government tightening policies, a report said on Tuesday.
The average residential price was 4,516 yuan ($717) per square meter in the first quarter, down 0.04 percent from the fourth quarter, the China Land Surveying & Planning Institute said.
The institute has conducted the survey since 1999 and releases quarterly and annual reports on land prices in 105 cities.
It said 48 cities, such as Beijing and Wenzhou in Zhejiang province, saw lower prices in the first quarter. Prices were flat in another 10 cities.
The report also said that since the tightening policies will continue for some time, land prices for apartments as well as for commercial buildings will be flat or lower in the next quarter.
But the report warned that more attention should be directed to “hot money” flowing into industrial sites. Industrial land prices rose 0.31 percent in the first quarter.
“Some property companies may buy industrial land but build apartments,” said Zhao Song, head of the institute’s land price division.
“We found that there are some connections between investment flows and the increase of industrial land prices. So governments should be more careful to prevent such speculation,” Zhao said.