SouFun Shares Dropped: 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: Shares of Chinese real-estate portal operator SouFun (NYS: SFUN) are underwater today after falling as much as 12.8% overnight on light trading.

So what: For the second month running, SouFun reported lower prices on brand new homes across China, particularly in higher-priced big cities. The price cuts follow premier Wen Jiabao's comments that the government will keep firm control of housing markets.

Now what: SouFun shares haven't been so fun since going public 13 months ago: The stock trades 38% lower since opening day. It's no Internet bubble, as shown by solid returns for online giants including Baidu (NAS: BIDU) and Sohu (NAS: SOHU) . To put it bluntly, I wouldn't touch anything related to the Chinese housing market given the complex and unpredictable interplay of government policies, banking trends, and the overdeveloped state of many Chinese cities. Entire towns are looking for residents, but nobody can afford to move in.

SouFun may become the bounce-back play of the century once this semi-commercial market sorts itself out, but for now it just looks like dead money.

Interested in more info about SouFun? Click here to add it to My Watchlist.

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies mentioned. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of and Baidu. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinion, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Check out Anders' holdings and bio, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. We have a disclosure policy.

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