China home prices fell in a record 37 of 70 cities tracked by the government in March as officials pledged to keep restrictions on property purchases that have sapped buyer demand.
The eastern city of Wenzhou led declines with a 9 percent slump in values from a year earlier, while Beijing and Shanghai recorded drops of 0.8 percent, according to data released by the statistics bureau today.
Todayâ€™s release underscores forecasts for Chinaâ€™s economic growth to slow further this quarter after the rate reached the lowest level in almost three years in the three months through March. Momentum in the real-estate industry is â€œtoo strong to reverseâ€ for now, according to Li Daokui, a former adviser to the nationâ€™s central bank.
â€œAlternative drivers of GDP growth will have to take some time to come in, to fill in the vacuum,â€ Li said today in an interview with Bloomberg Television from Sydney, citing water, rail and public-housing projects as future contributors to the expansion. Policy makers are aiming to balance reining in property speculation without hobbling growth, he said.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 2 percent, part of a rally across Asia after the International Monetary Fund boosted global economic estimates and Spain sold more debt than targeted.
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