China's housing prices remain stable on tough curbs

Xinhua
Housing prices in major Chinese cities remained stable in August as the government continued stepping up property curbs, data showed Saturday.
Xinhua

China's new housing prices in large cities remained stable as the government continued to implement new regulations, but those in smaller cities showed signs of faster growth.

On a monthly basis, new housing prices in 67 of the 70 major cities monitored by the government climbed in August, up from 65 in July, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed Saturday. Only one city, Xiamen in Fujian province, recorded lower housing prices.

Four first-tier cities, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou, saw new housing prices rise 0.3 percent in August, picking up from an increase of 0.2 percent in July.

The price increase in smaller cities was more robust than in large cities. New home prices in 35 third-tier cities climbed 2 percent month-on-month in August, accelerating from July's rise of 1.5 percent, NBS senior statistician Liu Jianwei said.

Compared with a year ago, 68 cities registered price increases, with the cities of Haikou and Sanya in southern Hainan province leading the gains, whose prices surged 21.4 percent and 21.2 percent respectively.

Average new housing prices in the four large cities fell 0.1 percent year on year in the first eight months, compared with an increase of 14.6 percent during the same period in 2017.

This came after the central bank data showed Wednesday that new household loans, most of which are mortgages, reached 701.2 billion yuan (US$102.5 billion) in August, expanding from 634.4 billion yuan in July.

During previous years, rocketing housing prices, especially in major cities, fueled concerns about asset bubbles. To curb speculation, China has rolled out a spate of control measures, including restrictions on purchases and increasing minimum down payments for mortgages.

The central authority vowed to regulate the property market order and "firmly curb the rise in housing prices" at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee in July.

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