January 28, 2010
Home sales plunge in Beijing: report
(BEIJING) Sales of new apartments and existing homes in Beijing fell some 70 per cent in the first three weeks of January from a month earlier, the local Beijing News reported yesterday.
The newspaper cited real estate agents as saying that home buyers were taking a wait-and-see attitude as the government has moved to douse speculation in the property sector, fuelling expectations that prices will fall.
Prices of existing homes have already started to dip as buyers gain the upper hand, the report added.
Conditions in the Beijing property market are not necessarily indicative of those in other cities, but the fall in transaction volumes and prices suggests that the government's measures to tame surging prices are beginning to gain some traction.
Along with trying to rein in bank lending, officials have also scrapped a tax policy that encouraged property buying and have discussed raising mortgage rates on acquisitions of second homes to discourage speculation.
Martin Koh/ Sherry Tang