(Bloomberg) -- China’s home sales slump persisted in November, underscoring the challenge for policy makers as they seek to revive the embattled industry.
The 100 biggest real estate developers saw new-home sales drop 25.5% from a year earlier to 559 billion yuan ($78.9 billion) in November, according to preliminary data from China Real Estate Information Corp. That narrowed from a 28% decline in October.
A rebound in home sales is seen as crucial to repairing China’s property market, which has been dragging on economic growth for more than a year. Authorities are trying to address a debt crisis among developers by boosting financing on three fronts: stock sales, bond issuance and bank loans.
Regulators issued a 16-point plan earlier this month to spur the real estate market, while several state-owned lenders pledged at least 1.28 trillion yuan ($180 billion) in funding for builders. Officials have also lifted a ban on local stock offerings by developers and widened a program allowing them to issue state-guaranteed bonds.
Yet it remains to be seen whether home buyers will become more willing to splash out on properties as strict Covid restrictions weigh on wages and push up unemployment.
Falling home values are also deterring purchases. Real estate prices fell the most in seven years in October, the latest official data showed.
China’s Covid controls sparked social unrest following a deadly fire in Xinjiang last week. Economic activity contracted further in November amid a record outbreak, and will likely continue to weaken until at least the first quarter of next year, according to some market watchers.
--With assistance from April Ma.
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