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China home prices continue to stabilize

CHINA'S property market in major cities continued to stabilize after authorities implemented a string of measures to contain price hikes, according to an official survey released Tuesday.

Of 70 large and medium-sized cities surveyed, 24 cities witnessed a slower price rise year on year in March, up from 20 in February, said the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

A total of 18 cities witnessed a month-on-month price decline or a slower price uptick in March, said the NBS.

Among the 15 first-tier and second-tier cities surveyed, six cities saw a month-on-month price decline in March and six saw price gains of less than 0.5 percent.

In Beijing, new residential house prices rose 0.4 percent month on month in March, while Shanghai prices fell 0.1 percent. House prices in Shenzhen, a southern metropolis neighboring Hong Kong, slid 0.3 percent.

"Prices of newly-built homes in 15 major cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen continued to stabilize in March on the back of targeted local government policies," said NBS statistician Liu Jianwei.

Since October last year, the Chinese government has implemented a slew of measures to cool fast growth in housing prices, including restrictions on home purchases and increased minimum down-payment requirements

The latest round of restrictions came after more than two years of policy easing, starting with relaxation of purchase restrictions in 2014 and fueled by the pro-growth policies, including interest rate cuts.

Many third-tier and fourth-tier cities have excess supply in their real estate markets, while housing prices in some bigger cities with access to better education and medical services are moving swiftly upward.


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