Beijing housing prices 21% down in Q1

Updated: 2012-04-09 17:14


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Prices for newly-built residential houses in Beijing averaged at 12,326 yuan ($1,948) per square meter in the first quarter, down 20.7 percent year-on-year, Shanghai Securities News reported on Monday.

The data came from a report issued by the Beijing Real Estate Association – a non-profit organization linking the nation's government with the real estate market – at Beijing Real Estate Trade Fair that ended on Sunday.

Newly-built residential housing sales totaled 16,000 in the first quarter, and the lion's share of 90 percent among those were purchased by first-time homebuyers, indicating a successful curb on house price speculation, said Chen Zhi, secretary general of the association.

As a sluggish scenario looms large in the coming months, discount sales became the first resort for developers to boost their market share. Eight out of the ten top house sellers in the first quarter slashed their prices, according to Chen.

Chen also predicted that the housing market would continue to fall lower and discount sales would also be inevitable in the months to come, despite the rising number of house purchases.

Yet this may be short-lived, if the nation continues to hold a tight grip on the housing market. In that case, price-cuts would be the only way out for developers, who have been stuck between the pressure of capital turnover and the stubbornly high inventory of commercial houses, Chen added.

Residential housing sales dropped 14.2 percent year-on-year to 18,000 units, a record low since 2007.