Protests hit China as property prices fall

SHANGHAI, October 27, 2011 (AFP) – Hundreds of angry home buyers launched a series of protests in China’s commercial hub of Shanghai this week, as owners decried falling prices for their properties, state media said Thursday. Hit by weak demand and lack of funding, developers have slashed prices for some new projects in the city by more than 20 percent, the China Business News said, causing an outcry among those who bought at higher levels.

Analysts said the sometimes violent protests signalled that government measures designed to cool the red-hot property market were working and they warned developers in other parts of the country were starting to cut prices.

In the latest incident, some 200 home owners on Wednesday besieged the sales office for a project of leading developer Greenland Group, demanding refunds.

“We require a refund because the loss we are suffering now is too great for us to afford,” the Shanghai Daily quoted a protestor as saying.

He paid 17,000 yuan ($2,678) per square metre last year and claimed the developer had cut the price by around 30 percent to boost sales.

In a another incident, 30 home owners stormed the sales office of a project of Hong Kong-listed China Overseas Land & In