BEIJING (AFP) – Prices of new homes in China saw their sharpest decline for seven years in October, data showed yesterday, as the real estate sector was battered by a debt crisis and a slowing economy.
Property market has long served as a motor for growth in China, on the backs of rising standards of living and high demand in a country where home ownership is seen as a prerequisite for marriage.
But uncertainties linked to COVID-19, which have cooled demand and weighed on household income, are hitting buyers, at a time when several major real estate groups in China are in financial difficulty.
The price of new homes contracted 1.6 per cent year-on-year, their sharpest decline since August 2015, analysis of figures from Beijing’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.
Real estate prices fell in 58 cities, according to the NBS, which aggregates the average price in 70 cities across China.
Prices in the mega-cities of Beijing and Shanghai bucked the trend.
The figures come after China’s banking regulator unveiled sweeping measures to rescue the struggling property sector last week.