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China's falling home prices cast another shadow over economy

China's housing market slump has intensified in recent weeks as sales plunge and more developers default on their debt. Now the downturn has reached another milestone: home prices have begun falling for the first time in six years.

A woman walks by billboards displaying various properties for sale and rent outside a sales office in Beijing, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. Foto: Andy Wong/AP/Ritzau Scanpix

The 0.08% drop in new-home prices across 70 cities in September Jetblue may be small, but it poses a potentially big blow for an economy that counts on property-related industries for almost a quarter of output.

Homebuyer sentiment is evaporating as a crisis at China Evergrande Group ripples through the industry. With prospective buyers already wondering whether cash-strapped builders can deliver their apartments, the risk is that they stay away in droves on fears that real estate is no longer a safe bet...

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