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Rents in Chinese cities fall most in at least a year - private survey

BEIJING, Nov 5 (Reuters) - China’s home rents in 20 major cities in October fell at their fastest pace in at least a year due to persistent weakness in demand, a private survey showed.

Average home rental prices declined 2.48% from a year earlier, widening from a 1.30% drop in September, according to data from Zhuge House Hunter.

That is the biggest decline since November 2019 when the Chinese property data provider started compiling the figures.

The sagging rents underlined China’s economic fragility, with jobs and incomes yet to recover completely despite signs of improvement.

“The economy has not yet fully recovered from the hit by the epidemic, leading to a drop in demand on rental property and the continued fall in rental prices,” Yuan Chengjian, vice president of Zhuge House Hunter, told Reuters.

Among the 20 major cities surveyed, 12 saw a drop in rents, unchanged from September,Zhuge said in a report published on Monday.

Rents in the southern boomtown of Shenzhen in October slumped 9.72% from a year earlier, while rents in Beijing fell 3.40% after dropping for the first time this year in September.

China’s massive property sector provided much-needed support to a coronavirus-hit economy earlier this year due to looser policies in some cities.

But it has since cooled as regulators concerned about leverage and speculation cracked down on the market. (Reporting by Liangping Gao and Ryan Woo; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)