Employees set up model apartments as they prepare a real estate exhibition in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. Photo: Reuters

Home prices in Chinese first-tier cities saw negative year-on-year growth in January for the first time in 32 months, Shanghai Securities Journal reported, citing data released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

According to the bureau, 11 out of 15 hotspot cities saw a drop in the sales price of new commercial residential buildings, a decline of 0.1 to 3.4 percentage points.

And current sales prices are lower than that of the same period last year.

Yan Yuejin, research director of the Shanghai E-House Real Estate Research Institute, said the slowdown indicates that market regulations have taken effect, eliminating the housing price bubble.

A similar trend is expected to continue in the first quarter of 2018, Yan added.

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