China house prices fell further in July from the previous month, two private surveys showed Friday, underlining the weakness in the property market that poses a growing risk to the economy.
Prices of new houses in 288 cities fell 0.1 percent in July from June, the fourth consecutive drop on a monthly basis, a poll by real estate services firm E-House China Holdings Ltd. showed.
But compared to a year ago, house prices in July were still up 4.3 percent, though down slightly from June’s 5.3 percent annual increase, and marking the ninth straight month that annual property inflation has eased.
A separate survey by China Real Estate Index System (CREIS) showed average prices in 100 of the biggest cities fell 0.8 percent in July from June, the third monthly drop in a row.
However, house prices were still 4.7 percent higher in July compared with a year ago, although the increase was still a moderation from June’s 6.5 percent gain, CREIS said.
“Given tighter credit conditions and market uncertainties, the downtrend in the overall property market has become more obvious,” said CREIS, a consultant linked to China’s largest property information provider, Soufun Holdings.
“Potential house buyers have stayed on the sidelines and are of the view that the downtrend would continue,” CREIS said.
A Reuters poll showed Thursday that China’s house prices are likely to rise by only up to 0.5 percent in 2014 as a housing downturn deepens.
Official figures showed house prices fell 0.5 percent in June from May, but were still up 4.2 percent from a year earlier.
The government is due to publish its property price data for 70 of the biggest cities for July on Aug. 18.