(Bloomberg) -- China’s home sales moderated their decline in September, following stepped-up efforts from Beijing to support the housing sector.

The value of new home sales among the 100 biggest real estate companies fell 29.2% from a year earlier to 404 billion yuan ($55.4 billion), narrowing from a 33.9% decline in August, according to preliminary data from China Real Estate Information Corp. on Saturday. Sales gained 17.9% on month. 

Chinese developers are grappling with a two-year crisis that’s put giants at liquidity risk and deprived the economy of a key growth driver. Authorities recently unveiled fresh reductions in down-payment requirements for homebuyers, promising to also allow lenders to lower rates on existing mortgages.

Read more: China Cuts Down Payment, Mortgage Rates in Stimulus Drive

Home sales recorded a small gain as developers turned more active in launching new projects, CRIC said in its report on the data. That recovery may extend to October, it added. 

China Index Holdings, another top property agency in China, found September sales were down in number from August, though it also sees reason to expect improvement.

“The policy effect only started to show in some core cities,” said Liu Shui, an analyst at China Index Holdings. “The positive effect is still accumulating.”

Country Garden Holdings Co., a developer that was once a pillar of the industry, in August posted a record loss and said it may default on its debt. Risk is also spreading to the financial sector, where trust companies with massive exposure to real estate missed payments on some investment products.

Read more: Troubled Shadow Bank Zhongrong Gets Help From China State Giants

Chinese developers are now counting on the Golden Week national holiday to spark a long-awaited revival in home sales. The eight-day holiday period that started Friday is usually the peak of the industry’s September-October busy season.

Just before the holiday, Shenzhen said it will relax the floor for mortgage rates on first-home purchases, the first of China’s four biggest cities to make such a move.

--With assistance from Zhu Lin.

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.