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July 1, 2015

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New home prices rise on stimulus measures

CHINA’S new home prices increased in June for the second straight month, a survey showed yesterday, as official stimulus policies helped boost the market.

The average price of a new home in China’s 100 major cities rose 0.56 percent month on month to 10,628 yuan (US$1,714) per square meter, the China Index Academy said in a report.

The result comes on the heels of a 0.5 percent gain in May, the first increase in four months. Prices had declined for eight consecutive months to December.

Authorities have taken steps to support the stagnating property market with interest rate cuts and other measures, which the academy cited as helping to boost demand and “accelerate recovery in the market.”

The central bank announced on Saturday its latest cut in benchmark interest rates, the fourth such move since November, and has taken other measures such as easing mortgage policies.

In late March, it cut minimum down payment levels on second homes nationwide, rolling back a four-year-old policy unveiled curb soaring prices that were making home ownership unaffordable for many and raising worries over social unrest.

The central bank also reduced the ownership period during which sellers are liable to a 20 percent capital gains tax on properties other than their main home.

China’s gross domestic product grew 7.4 percent last year, the weakest rate in nearly a quarter of a century.


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