BEIJING, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Home prices in Beijing declined in 2017 as a result of tough control measures introduced mainly in March to cool the property sector.
Prices of new homes, including public housing, fell 0.9 percent year on year to 37,800 yuan (5,981 U.S. dollars) per square meter in December, according to the Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.
Meanwhile, prices of existing homes, dropped 1.2 percent year on year to 59,100 yuan per square meter last month, declining 13 percent from the high level in March.
Starting mid-March, authorities in Beijing have rolled out more than 20 policies, including higher downpayments and mortgage rates, to rein in speculation in order to cool the housing market, said Xu Jianyun, head of the commission.
In a crackdown on operational irregularities at real estate agencies starting March, more than 1,000 agencies were closed.
Authorities will continue the control measures this year in a bid to maintain a stable housing market, Xu said.
Chinese authorities have constantly reiterated that "houses are built for living in, not speculation," pledging to step up housing system reform and foster a long-term market mechanism.