China Properties Eases as Slowdown Spreads

China’s new-home prices rose in April in the fewest cities in a year and a half as developers offered discounts and the economy slowed, prompting the easing of property curbs in some places.

Prices last month climbed in 44 of the 70 cities tracked by the government compared with 56 in March. That was the fewest metropolitan areas with price gains since October 2012 when increases were recorded in only 35 on a monthly basis.

After four years of government restrictions to cool the housing market, home sales and property construction are sliding and have become a drag on the country’s economy, which recorded its slowest growth in six quarters in the first three months of the year. The central bank on May 13 called on the biggest lenders to accelerate the granting of mortgages as developers including China Vanke Co. and Greentown China Holdings Ltd. cut property prices to lure homebuyers.


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