BEIJING (Reuters) -China’s new home prices were unchanged in June, the weakest result this year, official data showed on Saturday, as broad efforts have not revived the crisis-hit property sector with recovery waning in the world’s second-biggest economy.
The flat result from a month earlier was below May’s 0.1% gain, according to Reuters calculations based on National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data. Prices were also unchanged from a year earlier, retreating from a 0.1% increase in May.
China’s property sector, accounting for one-fourth of China’s economic activity, slumped sharply last year, with developers defaulting on debt and suspending construction of presold housing projects.
The central government, local governments and regulators have announced a slew of policies over the past year to prop up the sector.
Measures have ranged from extended financial support for developers to multi-pronged incentives for home buyers. But the uncertain economic outlook and persistent weakness in the sector have dented confidence and home demand, dampening hopes for any quick revival.
Chinese policymakers are under pressure to roll out fresh measures to bolster the faltering economy.
There is room for “marginal optimisation” of property polices considering profound changes in supply and demand in the real estate market, Zou Lan, a senior official at China’s central bank, said on Friday.
The central bank on Monday extended until the end of 2024 some policies in a November rescue package for the cash-strapped sector. But the uncertain economic outlook and persistent weakness in the sector have dented confidence, dampening hopes of any quick revival.
A quarterly central bank survey showed 16.5% of households believe housing prices will fall in the third quarter, worsening from the previous quarter, when 14.4% of households expected a decline.
(Reporting by Qiaoyi Li, Liangping Gao and Ryan Woo; Editing by Kim Coghill and William Mallard)
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