The price of new homes in China fell for the eighth consecutive month in April, showing the property sector continues to be a major drag on the world’s second-largest economy.
The average price in China’s 70 major cities fell 6.1% from a year ago – the same rate of decline as in March.
A large inventory of unsold homes is weighing on the once red-hot market.
The property sector accounts for about 20% of China’s economy, according to economists.
It has been flagged as one of the biggest risks to the Asian giant’s economic growth, which is on track for its slowest growth in a quarter of a century this year.
On the positive end, home prices in Beijing did rise for a second consecutive month in April, while Shanghai’s prices rose for the first time in a year.
But overall, prices in most of the smaller cities, which account for about 60% of national sales, continued to head lower.
Analysts said the recent data will continue to add pressure on policymakers to ease and introduce stimulus measures to boost the economy.
Authorities had eased tax rules and down-payment requirements in March and earlier this month, the central bank cut interest rates for the third time since November to pick up lending.
Despite that, real estate investment growth eased to its lowest rate since 2009 in the first quarter of this year.
Growth fell to 8.5% in January to March, according to the Nationals Bureau of Statistics, falling from 10.4% in the first two months of the year.
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