Housing markets in 15 major Chinese cities remain stable in February

Consistently implemented tightening policies to curb speculation cited as reason for stability.

Housing markets in China's 15 major cities remained generally stable in February as tightening policies to curb speculation have been consistently implemented, data released today by the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

Twelve of the 15 cities, including first-tier ones and key second-tier cities, saw declines of 0.1 percent to 0.6 percent in new home prices from January. Prices in two cities were flat from a month earlier, and Tianjin was the only city where prices rose month on month, according to the bureau, which monitors property prices in 70 Chinese cities.

"Stability extended in the country's 15 hottest housing markets as differentiated policies to curb speculation continued to take effect," said Liu Jianwei, a senior statistician at the bureau.

In the four first-tier cities, new home prices in Shanghai lost 0.2 percent from January while Beijing's shed 0.3 percent,  Guangzhou's fell 0.4 percent and Shenzhen's dropped 0.6 percent.

On an annual basis, prices in nine cities shed by between 0.3 percent and 2.5 percent, five cities saw rises of between 0.6 percent and 3.1 percent while one was flat from a year earlier, according to the bureau.

Nationwide on a month-over-month basis, new and pre-owned home prices in the four first-tier cities both fell at a faster rate compared to January. In second-tier cities, new home prices grew slower while those of pre-occupied houses climbed moderately faster, according to the bureau's data.

In third-tier cities prices of both new and pre-owned homes rose at the same rate compared to January.

Among the 70 cities, new home prices in 16 cities fell month on month, a rise of three from January. In the pre-occupied housing market, 15 cities posted price declines, a drop of two from a month earlier.

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