China October home prices fall 2.6% in sixth consecutive monthly drop

A man rowing a boat on a river in front of properties in Taiyuan, Shanxi province in this July 24, 2014 file photo. Average new home prices in China's 70 major cities fell 2.6 per cent in October from a year earlier, the second consecutive month show
A man rowing a boat on a river in front of properties in Taiyuan, Shanxi province in this July 24, 2014 file photo. Average new home prices in China's 70 major cities fell 2.6 per cent in October from a year earlier, the second consecutive month showing an annual fall. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (Reuters) - Average new home prices in China's 70 major cities fell 2.6 per cent in October from a year earlier, the second consecutive month showing an annual fall, Reuters calculated from official data published on Tuesday.

Compared with the previous month, home prices were down 0.8 per cent in October, a sixth consecutive monthly drop following September's fall of 1.0 per cent, the calculations showed.

Economists believe the cooling housing market poses the biggest risk to the world's second-largest economy, even as Beijing tries to stimulate overall growth.

The National Bureau of Statistics said new home prices in Beijing were down 1.3 per cent higher in October compared with a year earlier, versus September's increase of 0.4 percent. They dropped 1.1 per cent from September.

Shanghai's home prices were down 2.0 per cent in October from a year ago, versus a 0.8 per cent fall in September. They fell 0.6 per cent from September, the sixth month-on-month fall in a row.