[BEIJING] China's home prices dropped in more cities last month as an economic slowdown weighed on demand even after the government removed property curbs and reduced borrowing costs.
New-home prices fell in 66 of the 70 cities tracked by the government from a month earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday, compared with 64 in January. Prices rose in two cities and were unchanged in another two.
Two interest-rate cuts in three months and the removal of property curbs have yet to revive an industry that remains a drag on economic expansion as Premier Li Keqiang set the lowest growth target in more than 15 years. Demand was also dented by the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, traditionally a slow period for home sales as many Chinese people travel back to their hometowns for family reunions.
The average new-home price in 100 cities tracked by SouFun Holdings Ltd. fell 0.24 per cent in February from the previous month, according to China's biggest real estate website. Prices rose 0.2 per cent in January from December, the first such increase since May, after some property curbs were eased, according to SouFun.