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China's home prices rise for 3rd month

(Xinhua)

08:11, September 04, 2012

BEIJING -- New home prices in major Chinese cities continued to rise in August, signalling a moderately warming real estate market, according to data released by the China Index Academy Monday.

The average new home price in 100 surveyed cities rose for the third straight month to 8,738 yuan ($1378) in August, an increase of 0.24 percent from July, the CIA said.

But more cities recorded declining prices in August, with new home prices rising in 63 cities on a monthly basis, down from 70 in July.

Meanwhile, more cities saw bigger month-on-month price increases in August, as only 10 cities -- compared to 22 the previous month -- recorded month-on-month price gains within 1 percent.

On a year-on-year basis, the average price for new homes in the surveyed cities dropped in August, marking nearly three years of decline.

New home prices in 10 first-tier cities such as Beijing and Shanghai climbed 0.45 percent in August from July, but were still 1.49 percent lower than that of the same period last year, the CIA said.

Despite government control measures such as bans on third-home purchases and property tax trials introduced since 2010, home prices have picked up after the central bank raised interest rates and banks' reserve requirement ratio earlier this year to buoy the slowing economy.

The Chinese government has repeatedly reiterated its firm stance on property market control. In its latest move, Premier Wen Jiabao said during an inspection tour last week that the country still needs to resolutely curb speculative property investment.

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