China’s Pre-owned Housing Prices Drop for First Time in 58 Months, Property Policy Settings Unaltered

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The latest official data indicate that the coronavirus outbreak has had a heavy impact on China’s property sector.

Figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on 16 March indicate that the 70 City New Commercial Residential Price Index (70个城市新建商品住宅价格指数) stayed flat in the month of February compared to the previous month, with prices rising in just 21 cities.

The 70 City Pre-owned Housing Price Index fell 0.1% in February compared to the previous month, for the first decline in 58 months. Only 14 cities on the index saw an increase in pre-owned housing prices, accounting for less than 25% of the total.

For the January-February period the commercial housing sales floorspace in China was 84.75 million square metres, for a YoY decline of 39.9%.

State-owned media said that despite the impact of the coronavirus on the Chinese property sector the central bank was maintaining the policy stance that “houses are for occupation not speculation,” while also stressing the need for municipal authorities to implement their own bespoke real estate policies.

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