SouFun Holdings Shares Plunged: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: For the third time in a little more than two months, shares of SouFun Holdings (NAS: SFUN) fell nearly 12% in early trading before closing down more than 7.5%. New data on the sad state of the Chinese real estate market left investors wanting.

So what: Specifically, sales in and around Beijing fell 19% through the first nine months of the year. Average prices fell 10% over the same period, Bloomberg reported. Neither number is encouraging.

Now what: But it also wasn't all bad news. SouFun said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg that average selling prices for Shanghai homes rose 14% as overall sales volume fell 5%. That still wasn't enough to stop the bleeding. So be it. While the businesses are undoubtedly similar, we don't yet have enough information to know whether SouFun is to Chinese real estate what Zillow (NYS: Z) is to the housing market here in the United States. Do you agree? Would you buy shares of SouFun at current prices? Please weigh in using the comments box below.

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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributorTim Beyersis a member of theMotley Fool Rule Breakersstock-picking team. He didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Check out Tim'sportfolio holdingsandFoolish writings, or connect with him onGoogle+or Twitter, where he goes by@milehighfool. You can also get his insightsdelivered directly to your RSS reader.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Zillow. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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