BEIJING, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Sales of commercial real estate and housing in Beijing declined 12.2 percent year-on-year in 2011, a sign that government curbs have cooled the capital's once red-hot real estate market.
Property developers in Beijing sold 14.4 million square meters of commercial estate and housing last year, Yu Xiuqin, spokeswoman of the Beijing municipal bureau of statistics, told a press briefing Thursday.
A total of 10.35 million square meters of commercial housing were sold in 2011, down 13.9 percent from a year earlier, Yu said.
Prices of new homes rose 1 percent year-on-year in December, Yu said. She added that the rise was 0.3 percentage points lower than the previous month and 8.9 percentage points lower than the year before.
Meanwhile, prices of existing homes fell 2 percent year-on-year in December, a year-on-year decline for the second month in a row, Yu told reporters.
The real estate market in Beijing is expected to be under further pressure this year as the local government will continue its regulatory measures on the sector to bring down house prices to reasonable levels.
Last February, Beijing banned local registered families buying a third apartment and non-local city registered families from buying a second apartment.
The property sector has cooled since the purchasing limit, together with higher lending rates, higher down payment for second homes and a ban on mortgage loans on third homes, took effect.
The government curbs cost 0.5 percentage points of GDP growth rate, lower than expected, as the city also has been building more affordable housing.
The spokeswoman also said the car purchase restrictions and relocation of Shougang Group cost 1 percentage point and 0.4 percentage points of GDP growth rate, respectively.
The three factors slowed economic growth, but they also helped to balance the economic structure, creating conditions for future sustainable development, she said.