China home prices fall, top-tier cities warm up

2015-05-18 14:30:11 | Jason, Xinhua

China's real estate market remained anemic in April, with new home prices registering month-on-month declines in most cities, though prices edged up in top-tier cities following government policy support.

Of 70 large and medium-sized cities surveyed, 48 saw new home prices dip in April from the previous month, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday.

New home prices were flat in Shenyang, Hefei, Jinan and Changsha, while 18 cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen saw prices inch up from March, the NBS data showed.

For existing homes, 34 cities saw price declines in April on a monthly basis, eight reported flat prices, while 28 cities posted gains, 16 more than last month.

Amid a cooling real estate market and shrinking exports due to uneven global economic recovery, economic growth in the world's second-largest economy slid to 7 percent in the first quarter, marking the lowest quarterly growth rate since 2009.

To offset the downward pressure in the economy and reduce financing costs for companies, the central bank has cut the benchmark interest rate three times since November. It has also dropped banks' reserve requirement ratio twice since February.

On the back of the policy support, home sales in some major cities have gradually recovered, but in less developed areas where inventories remained high, the effect of the policy seemed muted.

According to NBS calculations, the average home price in top-tier cities increased 1 percent in April on a monthly basis, whereas those in second- and third-tied cities declined 0.1 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.