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Home prices in China's cities drop on lower demand

BEIJING: Prices of homes in China's cities have dropped on lower demand amid increased government measures to rein in escalating home prices, reported state newswire Xinhua.

The flurries of buyers are no longer descending upon real estate centres nationwide despite discounts offered by real estate developers,  the newswire said quoting national broadcaster China Network Television.

"The high housing prices have prompted more residents to choose not to buy, although some offer a 10% discount," said Mantanghong Real Estate Agency market manager Li Ning.
The curbed appetites of buyers is in stark contrast with the belief that March and April is the best time of year to sell homes.

Statistics from the Shenzhen Land and Resources Bureau show that average housing prices for the first quarter have contracted to almost 19,000 yuan per sq m in March from over 20,000 yuan per sq m in January.

Meanwhile, prices of resale homes in Shanghai and Shenzhen slipped by 3% to 5%.

Given the difficulty of selling these homes, owners have resorted to lowering their prices.

"Currently, many real estate centers offer lots of discounts to customers. I'm afraid my house can't be sold at such a high price, so I have decided to lower it 50,000 yuan," said a second-hand house owner known as Zhu.

It is unclear what her original asking price for her home was.

The situation for developers is not as bleak in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province in the east as over 60% of apartments in the area were sold by two real estate centres over the Qingming festival period. However, this situation appears to be more of an exception than the rule in China's housing market.
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