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House prices nudge upward in September

By Hu Yuanyuan  (China Daily)

13:22, October 09, 2012

Average house prices in 10 key cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, rose 0.22 percent on a monthly basis to 15,573 yuan ($2,475) per square meter, according to statistics from China Index Academy. [Photo/China Daily]

House prices in 100 major cities across China climbed further in September, the fourth consecutive rise this year, statistics from China Index Academy showed on Monday.

The average price of new homes in the 100 cities increased 0.17 percent month-on-month to 8,753 yuan ($1,346) per square meter, according to the Beijing-based research institute.

However, the rate of growth is shrinking, compared with the 0.24 percent rise in August, said the academy.

Among the 100 cities, 60 saw prices increase on a monthly basis, 38 experienced a decline in prices, and the remaining two remained flat.

Average house prices in 10 key cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, rose 0.22 percent on a monthly basis to 15,573 yuan per square meter.

On a yearly basis, however, the average house price in those cities fell 1.4 percent year-on-year, the sixth consecutive monthly drop.

"I expect prices to stabilize or gradually pick up in the remaining months of this year," said Carlby Xie, head of research at the real estate consultancy Colliers International (Beijing).

"But prices in the country's big cities may see a strong rebound after the first quarter of 2013, due to the demand and supply relationship," he added.

Despite the further increase in property prices on a monthly basis, sales in the country's major cities have started to decline.

During the recent National Day holiday, property sales in 54 cities monitored by Centaline dropped nearly 70 percent over the previous week, according to figures from the Hong Kong-based real estate service provider.

Home sales in Beijing during the holiday dropped 51.9 percent year-on-year, according to statistics from Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Rural-Urban Development.

A total of 437 new homes were sold in Beijing between Oct 1 and 7, down 88.1 percent on the previous week.

A similar situation also occurred in Shanghai and Shenzhen.

But, according to Zhang Dawei, Centaline's research head in northern China, as most online transaction systems were closed during the holiday, the actual figures may be higher than these statistics.

"A large number of people were away on vacation, which in part caused the drop in property sales," said Hu Jinghui, vice-president of real estate service company 5i5j Real Estate.

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