August new home prices stay flat

Prices in 15 cities, including first-tier and key second-tier ones, were flat or fell slightly from July.

NEW home prices in 15 Chinese cities, including first-tier and some key second-tier ones, remained flat or fell in August compared with a month earlier, data released on Monday by the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

Year-on-year growth also slowed.

Shanghai, Beijing and Xiamen in Fujian Province were the three cities where new residential property prices stayed unchanged from July.

The remaining 12 cities registered month-over-month decreases ranging from 0.1 percent to 0.7 percent, the bureau said. The bureau monitors prices in new and pre-owned home markets in 70 major cities.

In comparison, new home prices in one third of the 15 cities rose in August from a month earlier.

“Stability extended in the 15 cities for another month as varied tightening measures continued to take effect,” said Liu Jianwei, a senior statistician at the bureau. “On a year-over-year basis, price increase of new homes in the 15 cities decelerated by 1.3-6.6 percentage points compared with July.”

Around the country, prices of new and pre-occupied homes in the four first-tier cities both fell 0.3 percent in August from a month earlier.

In second-tier cities, they climbed 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively, decelerating by 0.2 percentage points and 0.1 percentage point from July.

Prices of new and pre-owned homes in third-tier cities rose 0.4 percent, down 0.2 percentage points and unchanged, respectively, from July.

“In general, the domestic housing market posted rather stable performance last month mainly because of the rein-in policies and the traditional low-season effect,” Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Co said in a report. “New home transactions continued to shrink in August with first-tier cities suffering the largest setbacks.”

The area of new residential properties sold in 40 major cities tracked by Centaline totaled 19.7 million square meters last month, down 8 percent from July and a plunge of 38 percent from same period a year ago, according to Centaline.

Notably, sales contracted 21 percent in the four first-tier cities, compared with 9 percent in second-tier cities and 3 percent in smaller ones.

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