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January 21, 2017

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Home » Business » Real Estate

Firms halt publishing of home price data

AT least two major Chinese private providers of home price data have stopped publishing the figures, at a time when economists are split whether the red-hot property market will remain a driver of the economy in 2017.

The China Index Academy, a unit of US-listed Fang Holdings, has stopped distributing monthly housing price index data for 100 cities that it usually issued at the start of the month.

The academy said yesterday that it had suspended distribution indefinitely, without giving a reason for the suspension.

“I don’t know who exactly is making the order, and it’s not mandatory,” said a source with knowledge of the matter, who declined to be identified as the topic is a sensitive one.

Home price data from private providers tend to show sharper increases than official data from the National Bureau of Statistics, which publishes monthly and annual percentage changes in 70 major cities.

New home prices grew the most last year since 2011, bureau data published yesterday showed. Growth moderated in December as 12 of 15 cities previously singled out by authorities as overheating saw price drops, an increase from November.

Since last summer, the government has levied curbs on buying and ownership to rein in soaring prices and limit asset bubble risks.

E-house China, another private real estate consultancy, has also indefinitely halted its monthly housing price index for 288 cities.

“Judged by current conditions, we won’t publish it in the future,” said Cherilyn Tsui, a public relations officer at CRIC, the consultancy’s real estate research branch.

“We stopped distributing prices data a few months ago. At first it was just no external distribution, but now even internally we don’t distribute any more,” she said.

“Housing prices are an extremely sensitive matter right now,” a second source with knowledge of the matter said on condition of anonymity.

E-house’s last data release in November said new home prices in Beijing and Shanghai rose 1.32 percent and 1.09 percent in October from a month earlier, respectively. The bureau reported a rise of 0.5 percent.


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