China’s Nov new home prices fall for fifth straight month

BEIJING (Reuters) -China’s new home prices fell for the fifth straight month in November, official data showed on Friday, as the sector still struggles to elbow its way out of a weak market in the face of dampened confidence in demand and investment.

New home prices fell 0.3% month-on-month, matching the figure in October, according to Reuters calculations based on National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data.

Prices fell at the fastest pace in seven months year-on-year, down 0.2% in November, compared with a 0.1% decline in October.

China has been ramping up measures to cushion the impact of the property downturn on its economy, but the sector has failed to stage a robust rebound.

Tier-one, tier-two and tier-three cities all recorded declines for new home prices for the second month in November.

Among 70 cities surveyed by the NBS, 59 reported a fall in home prices, up from 56 in October.

Beijing and Shanghai relaxed home purchase restrictions on Thursday, including by lowering the minimum deposit ratio for first and second homes, in renewed efforts by Chinese authorities to revive the sluggish housing market.

China’s top leaders pledged at an agenda-setting meeting this week to speed up the establishment of a new model of property development and to quicken the construction of affordable housing.

Fitch Ratings this week also projected home prices in China to fall by 5%-7% next year, with the decline set to extend into 2025.

(Reporting by Liangping Gao, Ella Cao and Ryan Woo; Editing by Sam Holmes and Shri Navaratnam)