Business Week – China’s February home prices fell in more than half of the 70 cities monitored by the government with only three cities recording gains as the country maintained curbs on the property market.
Prices fell in 45 cities last month as compared with January, while 22 cities were unchanged, the National Statistics Bureau said in a statement on its website today.
That compares with 47 cities recording a decline in January. New home prices in the cities of Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou dropped for a fifth month.
Premier Wen Jiabao said last week China’s home prices remain far from a reasonable level and called on the government not to slacken efforts to regulate the housing sector. Relaxing the curbs could cause “chaos” in the market, Wen said. China’s two-year campaign to rein in home prices has included measures such as higher down payments and mortgage rates, and home purchase restrictions in 40 cities.
Price Indices of Second-Hand Residential Buildings by Floor Space in 70 Large and Medium-Sized Cities (2012.02)
The current administration will not relax the overall tightening stance on the housing market,” wrote Barclays Capital Asia Ltd. economists led by Jian Chang in a note to clients on March 14. “We expect a further decline in property prices, especially in major and coastal cities.”
The country’s home sales declined 25 percent in January and February, according to data from the statistics bureau on March 16. The value of homes sold fell 25 percent after surging 26 percent in the first two months of 2011.
Home prices may post a “single-digit” decline this year, billionaire developer Vincent Lo, chairman of Shui On Land Ltd. (272), said in an interview in Beijing on March 8. Home prices will not see a crash, he said.