Chinese house prices fall again leading to fears of slowdown

 
Tim Wallace
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HOUSE prices are falling in most Chinese cities, according to an official study published yesterday, raising concern about the severity of the economy’s slowdown.

Of the 70 surveyed in March, 46 cities experienced falling prices in the month while 16 were unchanged and just eight reported a rise. That compares with 45 falling in February.

On an annual basis, 38 reported a decline, up from 27 in the year to February, and analysts expect the trend to continue.

“Property price inflation has been on a steady downward grind since the introduction of state council tightening measures in April 2010,” said ING analyst Prakash Sakpal.

“Investment in the sector has slowed too. The authorities want prices to fall to a ‘reasonable level’, by which we infer at least a 10 per cent year on year fall, before they scale back the April 2010 tightening measures.”

“We expect some easing by late this year at the earliest.”