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As Chinese investment in overseas real estate remains at the highest levels ever seen, its domestic market has experienced declining house prices for the eighth consecutive month.
Despite efforts by the Chinese authorities to energise the market, prices of new homes in 288 cities dropped an average 0.27% in November from October, according to a poll by real estate services firm E-House China Holdings.
Compared to a year ago, home prices in November were still up a barely noticeable 0.04%, compared with October's 1.1% annual increase.
A survey published by China Real Estate Index System (CREIS), a consultancy linked to China's largest property data provider Soufun Holdings, showed average prices in the 100 biggest cities fell 0.38% in November from October, the seventh monthly drop in a row.
House prices dropped 1.6% in November compared to last year, the second consecutive month showing an annual decline, a somewhat tentative sign that the bottom of the market is in sight.
Amidst the gloomy news for China's property market was a microscopic glimmer of optimism, with house prices in the country's 10 wealthiest cities registering a 0.07% gain in November from October, the first month-on-month increase after declining for the past six months, according to CREIS.
"Although there were early indications that China's property market had improved, most cities face large inventories of unsold homes," said CREIS. "Home prices in major cities still face downward pressures."
China's government took measures to rev up its property market in September, cutting mortgage rates and reducing deposits for buyers. At the time, analysts doubted the measures would be enough to stem weakness in the nation's property market, with subsequent indications adding weight to concerns.
In a further step towards encouraging buyers in China's property market, the interest rate was cut in November, although experts consider it will take more than that to spur a full rebound.
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