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Home prices down in China

China,Business/Economy, Wed, 18 Apr 2012 IANS

Beijing, April 18 (IANS) New home prices in most Chinese cities have declined in March, the country's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Wednesday.


In March, 46 of the statistical pool of 70 major cities saw a drop in new home prices from February, while prices in 16 cities remained unchanged, the NBS said.


On a year-on-year basis, 38 cities saw new home price declines in March, up from 27 in January, China Daily reported. The March figure was the highest since September 2011, according to NBS statistician Ma Xiaoming.


Ma said the price declines were mainly because cash-strapped property developers chose to lower prices to work off their overloaded inventories and some commercial banks lowered mortgage rates for first-home buyers to boost sales.


Lenders in Beijing and Shanghai are offering as much as a 15-percent discount off the benchmark interest rate on loans to first-home buyers.


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