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Housing price posts biggest rise in 16 months

CHINA'S urban housing prices rose in November by the most in 16 months as buyer sentiment remained strong despite soaring prices.

Housing prices in 70 major cities jumped 5.7 percent last month, the biggest year-on-year increase since August 2008, the National Bureau of Statistics said today on its Website.

The November growth was the sixth gain in a row since June, when property prices in the 70 cities started to register growth following six straight months of decline, according to the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planner.

On a month-to-month basis, property prices in November advanced 1.2 percent nationwide, the ninth consecutive gain.

The growth of property sales by value further accelerated to 92 percent in the first 11 months from a 79 percent gain in the first 10 months, the statistics bureau said.

In Shanghai, property prices rose 5.5 percent from a year earlier last month and on a month-over-month basis, a 1.1 percent gain was recorded.

``This year's property boom was initiated by first-time home buyers and other end-users who want to upgrade their living conditions,'' said Jenny Wu, head of the residential sector for east China operations at real estate services provider DTZ. ``Later on, investors have emerged as a major force in the buying spree particularly in the high-end sectors.''

Demand for properties has remained robust across the country as inflation expectations, coupled with a possible inflow of ``hot money'' from overseas, have made real estate investment extremely active since the second quarter of this year, industry analysts said.


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