China reported a slight price decline for land for residential development in the first quarter of 2012 as the government maintained its tight grip over the property market.
According to a report released by the China Land Surveying and Planning Academy (CLSPA) on Tuesday, the average residential land price in Chinese cities moved down four basis points during the January-March period to 4,516 yuan (718 U.S. dollars) per square meter from the fourth quarter of last year.
Although the quarterly softening was slight, it marked the first general decline for residential land prices in the country since the second quarter of 2009.
Prices for land used for commercial and industrial development, however, continued to increase in the first quarter, up 0.91 percent and 0.31 percent, respectively, according to the report.
Zhao Song, head of the CLSPA, said land supplies in major cities dropped sharply in the first three months due to the continued tightening of the housing market and the grim macroeconomic situation.
In regard to land used for residential development in cities, 43.64 percent was earmarked for the development of government-subsidized housing that caters to middle- and low-income groups, said the report.
According to the report, 48 Chinese cities reported quarterly declines in residential land prices during the January-March period, while prices in 10 other cities remained unchanged.