Prices of new homes in large Chinese cities fell 4.3 per cent last month from a year earlier, the Financial Times reported.
It was the biggest drop since the data series began in 2011, the newspaper’s calculations, based on government data released Sunday, showed.
“We expect the property downturn to continue in 2015, with greater downside risk to our current forecast,” the report quoted Wang Tao, chief China economist at UBS, as saying.
However, sales volumes rebounded last month, and prices in China’s biggest cities fell less on a month-on-month basis than they did in November or September.
Beijing cut interest rates in November for the first time in more than two years.
That move and a loosening of regulations on home ownership, pushed housing sales to their highest level in December, up 9 per cent from a month earlier.
However, the report quoted Ai Jingwei, a property market expert and author of Great Recession in China’s Property Market, as saying: “Despite some positive short-term signals, the current property downturn is far from over.
“Given the huge inventory overhang, unfavourable demographic trends and the potential for local debt crises, I expect the slump will last at least until the end of 2017, and possibly longer, even if we see some small temporary rebounds.”
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