The average price of re-sold apartments in Beijing dropped to a 15-month low of 22,018 yuan (about US$3,456) per square meter in November, according to a report released by the Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development on Friday.
In November, 7,428 secondhand housing units were sold in Beijing, a 55.8 percent decrease from December 2010, the report said.
Moreover, the average price of re-sold apartments in Beijing has dropped for three consecutive years and is now at the same level as the third quarter in 2010, said Hu Jinghui, a senior real estate expert and vice president of 5i5j Real Estate Service Company in Beijing.
Flagging demand for housing in Beijing has finally pushed prices down. The trend of secondhand apartments falling in price has extended from the outer suburbs to the core regions of Beijing, Hu said.
He predicted that there is scope for the average price to decline by a further 8 to 10 percent from the end of 2011 to January 2012. If that happens, prices will have fallen to the same level as in the first quarter of 2010.
To achieve its goal of cooling the property market, the Chinese government has enacted a number of policies, including limiting the number of homes people can own, requiring higher down payments, introducing a property tax in some cities and constructing low-income housing projects.
It has repeatedly pledged to continue these market curbs until housing prices reach a "reasonable" level.
Despite the decline in re-sold housing prices, the sales volume of new apartments in Beijing in November reached 6,683 units, a month-on-month increase of 22 percent, said the report.
In sharp contrast with the increase in volume, the average housing price was 19,598 yuan per square meter, a 5 percent month-on-month decrease, according to statistics released by 5i5j Real Estate Service Company.
November prices dropped about 21 percent compared with the peak price of new apartments.
Real estate developers have adopted a marketing strategy of increasing volume by dropping prices, facilitating the increase of the sales volume, said Hu.
It is expected that from the end of 2011 to January 2012, more newly-built housing projects open to the market at lower prices, which will further boost the trading volume, said Hu.