Home prices in Beijing fell for the first time in more than two years in June, while Shanghai declined further and Shenzhen stalled, pointing to significant cooling in China's biggest real estate markets. David Pollard reports.
A rare event in China's red-hot housing market. Prices actually falling in Beijing last month for the first time in two years. Shanghai declined further and Shenzhen stalled, according to official data ... As government restrictions to keep prices in check weighed on larger cities. SOUNDBITE (English) JAMES HUGHES, CHIEF MARKET ANALYST, GKFX, SAYING: "The Chinese housing market is something we know has been massively overheating in certain areas so what the Chinese government have done is of course they've come out with a number of different initiatives in the major cities to make sure that those house prices don't escalate." Big cities such as Beijing have acted swiftly this year to quell property buying that's shattered price records. And added to worries over a growing debt mountain in China. The latest data suggests the sector's cooling off at a moderate pace - unlikely to suffer a steep correction as some feared. SOUNDBITE (English) JAMES HUGHES, CHIEF MARKET ANALYST, GKFX, SAYING: "The demand is still there. Demand is still there in the big cities and the demand is there in the smaller cities." And for the time being, 'cooling off' remains a relative term. Average new home prices in China's 70 major cities still estimated as up 10.2 percent from a year earlier. A typical two-bedroom new home in Beijing now costs around 69 times the average per capita disposable income in the city, compared to 25 times for New York City. Coming in at around $870,000.