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House prices in major Chinese cities up 8.2 pct in August
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16:45, September 12, 2007

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House prices in 70 large and medium-sized Chinese cities were up 8.2 percent in August compared with last year, as the rising trend continues to show no sign of stopping, according to latest statistics released on Wednesday.

The rise actually hit a new high and was 0.7 percentage points higher than the July figure, according to a report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the National Development and Reform Commission.

The prices of newly-built commercial housing units were up by nine percent in August, 0.9 percentage points higher than the rise in July.

The prices of low-cost housing rose 3.1 percent and the prices of luxury housing went up ten percent.

The cities of Beijing, Shenzhen, Beihai and Urumqi saw price hikes of more than ten percent, with Beihai the highest at 18.2 percent. The housing prices in Beijing went up 13.5 percent and the prices in Shenzhen were up 17.6 percent. Prices of second-hand houses in those cities were up by 7.8 percent.

Rising house prices have been a major concern of the Chinese people in recent years as new houses are too expensive for most urban residents.

Ordinary consumers are often scared into buying a house for fear that they will pay even more if they keep waiting as prices continue to rise.

The Chinese government has pledged to tame the wild property market but house prices have rocketed over the last few years despite round after round of government measures including restrictions on housing ownership by foreigners.

Speculation by domestic and overseas investors has been blamed as one of the main reasons for the price hikes.

China's real estate investment soared 28.5 percent from a year earlier to 988.7 billion yuan (130.6 billion U.S. dollars) in the first half of 2007, according to the NBS.

Analysts attributed the rising investment to booming housing demand, excessive liquidity and robust housing price hikes.

Source: Xinhua

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