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Accommodation prices during Olympics drop in Beijing
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Contrary to common expectations that the upcoming Olympic Games would boost accommodation prices, the rental of flats in Beijing had suffered a large decrease in recent months.

The August usage of a 110-square-meter flat within five km from the "Bird's Nest" was rented out in the first half at 28,000 yuan (US$4,000). Yet a similar flat now charged only 8,000 yuan (US$1,100), and are not going well, 5i5j, a real estate agency, told Jinghua Times on Wednesday.

Since the end of last year, many residents living around the "Bird's Nest", or the National Stadium had left their flats for short-term renting in this August. Large numbers of renting contracts had been signed at the time at "considerably high prices", but the rental has dropped by half on average now, according to 58.com, a major website publishing rental information.

The drop in short-term renting prices is because the supply has much exceeded the demand, said a 5i5j staff.

The bulletin board of 58.com for Olympic related accommodation was full of posts of available housing information posted by flat owners, with more coming each day.

The owner of a 70 square meter flat near the National Stadium, who posted the information on the bulletin, demanded a 4,500 yuan rental for August, the price is still negotiable.

The price of hotel rooms in Beijing has also declined. Though still two to four times more than the same term last year, the overall prices had decreased six percent on average, said Xiong Yumei, deputy director of Beijing Tourism Administration (BTA), at a press conference on Tuesday. But Xiong expected more people to book hotels between August 7 and August 24.

(Xinhua News Agency August 7, 2008)

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