HANGZHOU, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- Real estate sales have started to lose momentum in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, in January after a strong recovery in the August-December period last year.
Sales of housing and commercial property slumped 43.7 percent month on month to 7,471 units last month, according to tmsf.com, a local industry tracking website. Prices also declined 4.5 percent.
Fang Zhangjie, president of the website's research department, said although January is often a time of weak sales, the slump exceeded market expectations.
The property inventory in the city has reached a record high of 154,222 units, or 20 months of sales. The huge inventory could put further pressure on the market and prices could fall further, said Zhang.
Although January saw a month-on-month slump, it still registered a 24 percent year-on-year growth.
A modest recovery may be sustained this year as more easing measures are expected to be rolled out to give a boost to the industry, he said. The city lifted house purchase restrictions in August last year and the central bank eased mortgage rules a month later.