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Home prices drop in China

June 2, 2012 at 11:46 AM

BEIJING, June 2 (UPI) -- Home prices in China dropped 1.53 percent from a year earlier in May, the China Index Academy said.

Xinhua reported Saturday that prices in 100 Chinese cities fell 0.31 percent month-to-month from April to May. The average price for housing in the survey stood at $1,372 per square meter, which is slightly more than 10 square feet.

In May, the average price in the country's 10 most expensive cities was $2,403 per square meter, a 0.5 percent drop from April.

While economists worry about a bubble in the price of property in China, new home sales rose 22.6 percent in the first three weeks in May compared to the same three weeks of 2011.

The government keeps control of the market by setting standards on lending, which includes control of mandatory down payments. It has also banned ownership of a third home.

Some analysts say the government is not likely to change these policies in the near future.

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