Housing Prices Fall
Prices of new homes in Beijing fell 20.7 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2012, with property developers offering more generous discounts to stimulate sales against the backdrop of continuous tightening policies.
The average price of new homes in Beijing was 12,326 yuan ($1,956) per square meter in the first quarter, compared with 14,147 yuan ($2,245) at the beginning of 2011 and 13,173 yuan ($2,091) at the end of 2011, according to the Beijing Real Estate Association.
Transaction volume also shrank with apartment sales (excluding affordable homes) falling 14.2 percent year on year during the first quarter, the lowest level since 2007, said Chen Zhiwu, secretary general of the association.
In order to attract potential buyers' interest, real estate developers have offered certain incentives. During the Beijing Spring Real Estate Expo (April 8-11), a barometer for the city's real estate sector, developers offered discounts ranging from 2 percent to 6 percent, with some as high as 8 percent.
Suning Appliance Co., China's largest home appliance retailer by market value, plans to open 426 new chain stores worldwide this year, said the company in its financial report for 2011.
Among the 426 new stores, eight will be located in Hong Kong and two in Japan. The household appliance giant will also expand into 39 prefecture-level cities on the Chinese mainland.
Net profits of the Nanjing-based company rose 20.16 percent year on year to reach 4.82 billion yuan ($766 million). It opened 373 new chain stores last year.
The retailer's revenue rose 24.35 percent from the previous year to 93.89 billion yuan ($14.9 billion)