The traditional high season of the property market in mainland China has not flourished and the property market is still on a downward trajectory. Data shows that September this year was the third consecutive month that prices of new houses in China fell.

Finance.sina reported, data recently released by China Index Research Institute shows that in September, the average price of newly built houses in 100 Chinese cities was 16,200 yuan a square meter (about $226 a square foot), down 0.02% from last month. This is the third consecutive month of declines in the price of new houses in those 100 cities. In the third quarter, prices of new houses in 100 cities fell 0.03%.

Data from the agency also shows that as of September, resale home prices in 100 cities have fallen for five consecutive months. Affected by worsening economic pressures and repeated pandemic scares in many places, the price of older houses in 100 cities has been steadily decreasing month by month since May, and the downward momentum is widening.

Chen Wenjing, market research director of the Index Division at China Index Research Institute, said at the monthly real estate analysis meeting on the October 8 that, in general, prices of new houses in 100 cities continued to decline, reflecting expectations that the property market is still weak.

From transaction data, Chen revealed that from January to September, the size of new commercial housing transactions in 100 key Chinese cities is the lowest in the same period in recent years, down nearly 40% compared to the same period last year. Among them, the transaction area in the third quarter was at the lowest level in the same period in recent years.

Every year September and October are the traditional peak months for the real estate market in China, known by the industry as “Jin jiu yin shi” (meaning silver nine gold ten). However, in recent years, these months’ transactions have remained cold, sales have continuously declined, and many places have often resorted to market rescue measures.

Chinese media reports that many local governments have proposed a number of related measures this year, among them, at least 30 cities are exploring the “housing voucher” policy, to boost the market demand and accelerate the recovery of the real estate industry.

In September, Zhengzhou, Henan Province issued a new policy on “no restrictions” on settlements, the first major city to completely remove settlement restrictions this year. Tianjin, a city directly under the CCP, has also issued a new policy, where people from other places can buy houses by paying social security payments for half a year.

According to CNA, the official website of the State Property Supervision and Administration Commission of Jinan City, Shandong in September announced “Acquisition of reserve housing supply to support rental market support – The group openly buys high-quality social housing as a rental housing stock.” Judging from three notices of tenders issued at the same time, Jinan Urban Development Group Asset Operations Management Company, a subsidiary of Jinan Urban Development Corporation, will purchase 3,000 houses in commercial buildings in the city for rent and as a reserve house, the project’s capital source is self-mobilized capital.

The issue has sparked heated debate. In addition to Jinan, Zhejiang Huzhou also introduced a similar policy in mid-August, encouraging state-owned enterprises to buy backlog housing from disadvantaged real estate companies for resettlement housing, etc.

According to incomplete statistics, this year alone, at least 30 cities, including Zhengzhou in Henan, Yixing in Jiangsu, Kaifeng in Henan, and Nanjing in Jiangsu, investigated and implemented the relevant resettlement “housing voucher” policies.

Resettlement “housing vouchers” generally refer to the demolition and resettlement process, in addition to compensation with expropriation of existing residential housing. The relocation housing voucher is not the direct receipt of the resettlement money, but the purchase of a house with the housing voucher and the clearing of the house purchase price.

According to the report, resettlement in the form of housing vouchers can play a certain role in boosting confidence in the housing market.

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