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Home >> Business
UPDATED: 08:22, July 21, 2006
Housing prices up 5.8 pct in 70 major Chinese cities
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The housing prices in 70 large-and medium-sized cities in China continued to rise in June, going up by 5.8 percent over the same period last year.

Last month, the prices of newly-built commercial housing units were up 6.6 percent year-on-year, according to figures released by the State Development and Reform Commission in cooperation with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The cities include Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Shenzhen and Guangzhou.

The prices of low-cost housing rose by 5.5 percent and the prices of expensive housing went up by 9.7 percent. The cities of Shenzhen, Beijing, Xiamen, Guangzhou and Dalian reported higher than average in price hikes, the commission said. The housing prices in Shenzhen went up by 14.6 percent, and the prices in Beijing were up by 11.2 percent.

Prices of second-hand houses in those cities were up by 4.9 percent last month over the same period last year and 1.8 percent lower than the previous month.

Rising house prices have been a major bugbear of the Chinese people in recent years as new houses are too expensive for most urban residents. Speculation by domestic and overseas investors has been blamed as one of the reasons for the price hikes.

The government has been keen to tame the wild property market as it has sparked grave public concern over housing security and is fueling the fast expansion of investment and bank lending.

The government moved earlier this year to regulate the real estate markets in a bid to stabilize the housing prices. Among the measures adopted by the government are efforts to tighten loans for housing speculation.

Overseas investors have reportedly been speculating on China's lucrative real estate market and the possible appreciation of the Chinese currency makes investment in China's real estate more attractive.

The China Business News reported on Monday that Chinese authorities have drawn up a policy to regulate foreign investment in the country's property market.

According to the proposed policy, only foreign businesses with offices in China or foreigners who had worked or studied in China for more than a year would be allowed to buy property for private use.

Foreign businesses looking to invest in housing development are required to obtain official approval.

For the first six months, investment in real estate hit 769.5 billion yuan (96 billion US dollars), up 24.2 percent year-on-year, the NBS said in a report released Thursday.

The report revealed that 1.406 billion square meters of housing space were built in the January-June period, up 20.9 percent.

By the end of June, there were 121 million square meters of commercial space left unsold and vacant, up 17.2 percent. Developed land totaled 109.73 million square meters, up 34 percent.

Source: Xinhua

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