China home prices drop for 4th straight month

China’s home prices fell for a fourth month in December as the government prolonged a crackdown on speculation that risks deepening the slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy.

Property values in 100 major Chinese cities dropped 0.25 per cent to 8,809 yuan (S$1,800) per sq m in December from November, according to the China Real Estate Index System and online real-estate brokerage SouFun Holdings.

Prices slid in 60 of 100 cities, remained flat in three and rose in 37 cities.

Compared with a year earlier, average home values climbed 2.86 per cent in December, a slower increase than November’s annual 4.06 per cent rise.

China has in the past two years implemented measures to curb property speculation and make housing more affordable. Home sales and prices have subsequently fallen, although this has put pressure on developers and local governments that depend on land sales for revenue.

Two government researchers said in the People’s Daily yesterday that while Beijing is resolved to continue intervening in the property market, that will not necessarily result in a hard landing in the sector, and warned about the exaggeration of such risks.

Source : Today – 5 Jan 2012

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