Concerns grow as real estate cool-down continues

Updated: 2014-05-19 08:59

By HU YUANYUAN (China Daily)

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China's real estate sector cooled down further in April, with concerns mounting over its drag on the country's overall economy.

Among 70 major cities, eight saw month-on-month price declines in the new-home market last month, double that for March, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement on Sunday.

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Meanwhile, 44 cities experienced price gains on a monthly basis, down from 56 for March and 57 for February, according to the NBS. The biggest increase was recorded in the southeastern coastal city of Xiamen, where prices rose 0.4 of a percent month-on-month from March.

Hangzhou, the provincial capital of East China's Zhejiang province, saw the biggest price drop of 0.7 of a percent from the previous month.

In the pre-owned market, prices rose in 35 cities on a month-on-month basis, notably down from 42 in March and 46 in February, NBS data showed.

For Huang Jinlao, vice-president of Huaxia Bank, this round of home price correction is market-driven rather than policy-led.

In addition to a boost in the government's subsidized housing and the oversupply in some smaller cities, banks' unwillingness to offer mortgages to home buyers is another major reason for a cool-down in the real estate sector, according to Huang.

The average annual yield of wealth management products stands at a range of 5 to 6 percent, compared with a favorable mortgage rate of 5.9 percent for first-time home buyers. The interbank offering rate hit 6.8 percent in December, which means banks' investment in other fields will be more lucrative than offering mortgages.

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