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Home price grows in more cities in August

THE past August witnessed an overall rebound of home price growth in both new and existing markets with first- and selected second-tier cities leading gainers again, data released today by the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

The number of Chinese cities recording new home price growth from a month earlier rose by 13 to 64 cities, according to the bureau, which tracks prices in 70 cities across the country. Prices declined in four cities and remained unchanged in the rest two.

Zhengzhou in central Henan Province outpaced all with a month-over-month increase of 5.6 percent in new home prices, accelerating from a 2-percent rise in July. It was closely followed by Shanghai and Hefei in eastern Anhui Province, where new home prices rose 5.2 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively. In July, new home price growth in these two cities stood at 1.4 percent and 4.2 percent.

Shanghai's home price growth was also the fastest among the country's four first-tier cities. Beijing came as the second with a month-over-month gain of 3.8 percent and was trailed by Guangzhou and Shenzhen where new home prices climbed 2.4 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively, according to the bureau.

"New home prices in the 70 cities advanced 1.26 percent on average in August from July while in the existing residential market, the monthly growth reached 0.89 percent, both a record in the country," said Lu Wenxi, a senior manager of research at Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Co. "Notably, first-tier cities all registered an accelerated pace compared to July while several major second-tier cities kept extending their strong rally on a month-over-month basis."

To combat ever-increasing home prices, a number of city governments around the country including Hefei, Suzhou, Nanjing, Xiamen and Wuhan have introduced tightening measures this year by either limiting the number of homes people are eligible to buy or higher down payment requirement. In one of the latest moves, Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province announced over the weekend that non-local buyers would not be allowed to purchase a house, both new and existing property, if they already own one or more homes in the city.

Year on year, new home prices rose in 62 cities in August, an increase of four from July. In the pre-owned market, home prices rose in 53 cities last month from a year earlier, compared to 52 cities in July, the bureau's data showed.

A third-quarter survey released by the People's Bank of China on Sunday revealed that 53.7 percent of urban residents found home prices "high and unacceptable," up 0.3 percentage points from the previous quarter. 


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