Home prices in China are the latest economic metric to take a hit as the country battles to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported the average price of new homes in 70 Chinese cities increased 6.45 percent from January 2019, the slowest rate of growth since July 2018, the Wall Street Journal reported.
But home-price growth is expected to slow further as the full effects of the coronavirus on the economy are yet to be realized.
“There will certainly be a nationwide large-scale price reduction in February,” said Zhang Dawei, a Beijing-based analyst for Centaline, according to the Journal.
Home sales in the country are believed to have plummeted as much as 90 percent, following the lockdown last month of Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province where the virus was first reported.
More than 70,000 people have been infected with the virus — called COVID-19 — and more than 2,000 have died. The vast majority of cases are concentrated on the Chinese mainland. Experts note that as far as the United States is concerned, the common flu is a much more widespread and deadly disease than coronavirus appears to be. [WSJ] — David Jeans