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China’s home prices remain stable in January

Updated: Feb 22,2019 11:05 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — House prices in 70 major Chinese cities largely remained stable in January, official data showed on Feb 22.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a statement that new housing prices in four first-tier cities — Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen — edged up 0.4 percent month on month in January, retreating from the 1.3-percent increase in December.

New house prices climbed 0.7 percent in 31 second-tier cities and rose 0.6 percent in 35 third-tier cities.

Compared with slightly-rising new house prices, prices of resold houses showed more signs of cooling.

Seventeen cities reported month-on-month drops of resold house prices in January, and the number has remained high for four consecutive months. The four first-tier cities also saw falling or unchanged prices for four straight months.

NBS statistician Liu Jianwei said China’s house prices were stable in general last month as local authorities stuck with control policies to stabilize land and housing markets and guide expectations.

On a year-on-year basis, both new and resold house price registered increases in most Chinese cities, with second and third-tier cities seeing more robust growth than bigger cities like Beijing and Shanghai, the NBS data showed.

With control measures from purchase restrictions to tightened loans still in place, real estate research agency E-house China R&D Institute predicted property sales in major Chinese cities will continue shrinking in the first quarter.

The total floor space of commercial housing sold in 40 cities monitored by E-house went down 31 percent month on month and 14 percent from a year ago in January.

The Central Economic Work Conference called for a long-term mechanism to maintain a sound development of the real estate market, under the principle that “housing is for living in, not speculation,” which analysts said set the tone for China’s property market regulation this year.