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China's housing prices see slower month-on-month growth in July

Updated: Aug 14,2020 02:46 PM    Xinhua

BEIJING — China's housing market remained stable overall in July, with home prices in 70 major cities registering slower month-on-month growth, official data showed on Aug 14.

New home prices in four first-tier cities — Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen — rose 0.5 percent month-on-month in July. The growth rate was 0.1 percentage points lower than the previous month, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Thirty-one second-tier cities saw a month-on-month increase of 0.5 percent in new home prices, compared with a 0.9-percent rise in June, while 35 third-tier cities witnessed a month-on-month growth of 0.8 percent in new home prices, unchanged from the previous month.

Prices of resold housing in first-tier cities edged up month-on-month, though at a slower pace. Second-tier and third-tier cities both posted a 0.5-percent month-on-month increase in resold housing, remaining the same from the previous month.

In July, local governments maintained the principle that "housing is for living in, not for speculation," and hence did not use the property market as a form of short-term stimulus to prop up the economy, said Kong Peng, a senior NBS statistician.

As local authorities intensified efforts to stabilize property prices and expectations, the country's housing market has been generally stable, Kong said.

China's investment in property development rose 3.4 percent year-on-year during the first seven months, compared with a 1.9-percent increase registered in the first half, the NBS data showed.

Home prices showed some signs of cooling in July as rationality has returned to the market following the release of pent-up demand in earlier months, said Chen Xiao, an analyst with the Zhuge House Hunter, an online property platform.

Almost a dozen cities introduced tightening measures in July, tempering house price growth, said Zhang Dawei, chief analyst with real estate agency Centaline Property.

Shrinking bank lending and the recent buoyant stock market also explained part of the smaller increase in home prices, he said, adding that the growth is expected to further slow over the rest of the year.

Noting that Yinchuan, capital of Ningxia Hui autonomous region, has led the country in home price increases for three consecutive months on a monthly basis, Yan Yuejin, research director at E-house China R&D Institute, said some noncore second-tier cities need more measures to stabilize prices and regulate the property market.