BEIJING, April 1 China's home price inflation
continued to slow in March, two private surveys showed on
Tuesday, another indication that the country's frothy property
market is cooling because of government curbs and tighter
Prices of new homes in 288 major cities rose 8.1 percent in
March from a year earlier, easing from February's annual rise of
9.1 percent, a poll by real estate services firm E-House China
That was the slowest gain in 11 months and the fifth
consecutive month of easing annual gains.
A separate survey by China Real Estate Index System (CREIS)
showed average prices in the 100 biggest cities rose 0.4 percent
month-on-month in March, versus February's 0.5 percent rise,
still the 22nd straight month of gains.
Compared with a year earlier, home prices rose 10.0 percent
in March, moderating from a 10.8 percent annual gain in February
and marking the third consecutive month of easing annual gains,
China's red-hot property market has lost some steam since
late 2013 as local governments tightened controls on speculative
buying, and as banks made it harder for home buyers and small
developers to get loans.
A Reuters poll of 16 industry watchers published on Tuesday
showed that China's home price inflation is likely to slow in
2014 compared with the previous year, though some small cities
plagued with oversupply might see a price
"Some developers have priced new projects lower than
expectations to boost sales as there are no pronounced signs of
a loosening of restrictions on lending to developers and home
buyers," said CREIS, a consultancy linked to China's largest
online property information firm, Soufun Holdings.
"Most home buyers have kept a wait-and-see approach to the
property market as they are not sure about the outlook for the
sector," CREIS said in a statement.
Anecdotal evidence has suggested liquidity in the economy
has tightened this year, especially to the property industry, as
banks are turning more cautious about granting new loans.
Among the country's 10 biggest cities, Hangzhou and
Guangzhou saw month-on-month drops of 0.2 percent and 0.3
percent, respectively, in March, CREIS said. Home price gains
eased in eight other cities including Beijing and Shanghai, it
Official figures showed China's home price rises slowed to a
six-month low in February as some developers started to cut
prices. China's statistical bureau is due to publish official
home prices data for 70 major cities for March on April 18.
(Reporting By Xiaoyi Shao and Jonathan Standing; Editing by