The average price of land in 105 monitored Chinese cities stood at 3,412 yuan (554 U.S. dollars) per square meter in the first quarter of 2014, up 1.89 percent from the previous quarter, a report said on Tuesday.
The price growth saw a decrease of 0.17 percentage points from the previous quarter. It also marked a first cutback after land price growth expanded for seven consecutive quarters, according to the report released by the China Land Surveying and Planning Institute.
The average land price figure was based on prices of land used for three different purposes -- commercial use, residential property development, and industrial production.
Land for commercial use and residential property development both saw a slowdown in price growth in the first quarter, even though land for industrial production rose 1.71 percent in price, up 0.39 percentage points from the previous quarter.
On a year-on-year basis, the average land price rose more steeply at 7.63 percent in the first quarter of 2014, the report showed.
The report attributed the slower quarterly land price gain to a readjusting property market that has shown signs of cooling, reflected by tighter liquidity facing property developers as well as milder growth in individual mortgage loans. "Market expectations in some cities point to a drop in housing prices, and the impact has been gradually passed over to the land market," it said.
Meanwhile, China's efforts in industrial restructuring have led to the ousting of some low-efficiency sectors, causing a transitory economic slowdown that further slowed growth in the price of land for commercial and industrial purposes, according to the report.
Faced with the downward pressure in economic momentum, the institute forecast that the growth of land prices in the second quarter will further moderate.
Official data showed home prices in 70 major Chinese cities rose by an average of 11.1 percent year on year, although the growth rate slowed by 1.3 percentage points from January. During the Jan.-Feb. period, sales of properties including residential housing, offices and commercial premises totaled 709 billion yuan in value, down 3.7 percent year on year.