China’s home sales tumbled for a third straight month in August, underscoring the need for policymakers to step up efforts to address a slowdown that’s weighing on the world’s second-largest economy.
(Bloomberg) — China’s home sales tumbled for a third straight month in August, underscoring the need for policymakers to step up efforts to address a slowdown that’s weighing on the world’s second-largest economy.
The value of new home sales by the 100 biggest real estate companies fell 33.9% from a year earlier to 343 billion yuan ($47.2 billion), according to preliminary data from China Real Estate Information Corp. Sales slid 1.3% month on month.
China’s two-year real estate crisis is showing no sign of abating, putting more developers at risk of default and depriving the economy of a key growth driver. Existing policies have failed to revive demand as homebuyers remain deterred by falling prices and concerns that builders will struggle to finish apartments.
China meanwhile unveiled fresh reductions Thursday in down-payment requirements for homebuyers and will allow lenders to lower rates on existing mortgages, taking major new steps to reverse the slump and stimulate buying.
Read more: China Eases Down Payments, Mortgage Rates in Fresh Stimulus Move
Country Garden Holdings Co., a developer that was once a pillar of the industry, this week posted a record loss and said it may default on its debt. Risks are also spreading to the financial sector, where trust companies with massive exposure to real estate missed payments on some investment products.
Separately, two of China’s biggest cities — Shenzhen and Guangzhou — lowered mortgage requirements for some homebuyers this week following guidance from the central government. Wuhan, with a population of about 13 million, announced a similar move on Thursday.
“Easing by the two major cities on the same day helps stabilize market sentiment,” said Yang Hongxia, general manager for southern China business at China Index Holdings. “It’s possible for Beijing and Shanghai to follow them.”
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