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Beijing housing sales volumes plunge in January

BEIJING: Sales of new apartments and existing homes in Beijing fell some 70% in the first three weeks of January from a month earlier, the local Beijing News reported on Jan 27.

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.

The paper said that prices of existing homes have already started to dip as buyers gain the upper hand, the paper 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 landing, 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. -- Reuters
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