Of 70 major cities across the Chinese mainland Shanghai was the only one to see average housing costs drop last month compared with July 2005.
Average prices for new and used homes in the city were down 1.6 percent year-on-year last month, according to a report issued yesterday by the National Development and Reform Commission and the National Bureau of Statistics.
During the second quarter of this year Shanghai was also the only one of the 70 cities to see house prices fall year-on-year -- down 2.8 percent compared with the same period last year.
Prices of new apartments in the city were down 3.5 percent in July from the same month last year. This is the biggest drop of the three mainland cities that reported falling prices, the report said.
The other two cities to see new housing prices drop during the month are Dandong in northeast China's Liaoning Province and Wenzhou in southeast China's Zhejiang Province. Dandong posted a 0.2 percent fall while prices in Wenzhou slipped 0.1 percent.
While new home prices slipped Shanghai's second-hand housing market was bullish last month. Prices of these houses rose 1.8 percent in July from a year earlier and grew 0.2 percent from June this year.
Housing prices in the 70 major cities rose an average 5.7 percent last month over the previous year after growing at an average rate of 5.8 percent the previous month. Among all the cities average prices rose 0.5 percent between June and July.
Shenzhen reported the biggest increase in housing costs of any of the cities surveyed, with average housing prices in July rising 13.5 percent since the same month last year. It was followed by Beijing at 9.8 percent and Hohhot, capital of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, at 9.4 percent.
(Shanghai Daily August 16, 2006)