A sharp fall in mainland home sales this month could herald a short-term downward correction in deals and prices this year, according to agents and analysts.

Research by property consultant DTZ shows new home sales in Beijing dropped 45% to 318,000 square metres from January 1-15 compared with the last two weeks of December.

The decline is in sharp contrast to official figures that showed a 75.5% jump in the value of property sales to 4.4 trillion yuan (HK$5 trillion) last year. Property prices jumped 7.8% last month.

But an end to a honeymoon tax break on property resales and fears of further measures aimed at curbing price rises may now have put the lid on surging demand, say analysts.

South China Morning Post