China home price growth slows in March

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Beijing, China (4E) – Large- and medium-size cities in China posted a slower growth in residential property prices in March as limits in lending and discounts hurt demand, according to property developers and industry observers.

Average prices of newly built homes rose 7.3 percent in March from the previous year in 70 of China’s bigger cities, according to the survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released by The Wall Street Journal on Friday. Prices climbed 0.2 percent from the previous month, compared with 0.3 percent in February.

February’s year-to-year increase was 8.2 percent, lower than February’s 9 percent pace. The past three month’s slower growth rate is a reversal from the accelerating prices in all months of 2013. In December, the average price picked up 9.2 percent compared with November’s 9.1 percent.

Stripping of public housing, prices in March were up 7.7 percent compared with February’s 8.6 percent.

Last year, the construction, sale and outfitting of apartments accounted for almost a quarter of China’s gross domestic product, according to Moody’s Analytics. The world’s second-largest economy saw growth decline to 7.4 percent in the first quarter, the lowest in 18 months, from 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter.

Property prices in 2013 have surged despite government efforts to rein over them. To boost sales, developers in some cities have cut prices since February.

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