China new home prices fall for fourth month, sales slump – survey

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s new home prices fell for the fourth month in August, according to a private survey on Friday, as a property debt crisis kept confidence at a low ebb despite a string of support measures.

New home prices on an average eased 0.01% month-on-month in August, matching the pace of declines in July, June and May, according to a survey by China Index Academy, a real estate research firm. Only 35 cities, of the 100, saw a gain in new home prices.

The property sector which is grappling with a debt crisis has been on a downward spiral since 2021 after Beijing cracked down on debt accumulation by developers. Deepening problems in the sector this year have dragged on China’s economy and rattled global financial markets.

New home sales by value among top 100 real estate firms across the country fell 39.2% year-on-year, deeper than a 34.1% fall in July, according to a separate statement from the research firm.

The persistent weakness in the property market comes despite a host of support measures over the past year and more recently.

China’s central bank on Thursday announced the lowering of existing mortgage rates for first-time homebuyers as well as the downpayment ratio on some cities.

Major cities like Guangzhou and Shenzhen this week said they would allow people to take preferential loans for first-home purchases regardless of credit records.

(Reporting by Liangping Gao and Ryan Woo; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)