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Housing prices still rising: NBS

By Wang Xinyuan (Global Times)

08:20, January 21, 2013

Housing prices in major cities continued to rise in December and analysts said over the weekend that prices will continue to accelerate without new measures to reduce land costs.

More cities saw a surge in prices of newly built residential houses in December, both month-on-month and year-on-year, according to data released Friday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Prices of newly built residential houses rose in 54 out of 70 major cities, compared with 53 in November, with the month-on-month growth rate hitting the highest level since May 2011, according to the NBS.

The four first-tier cities - Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen - all saw a rise in house prices in December compared to November, the official data showed.

Residential house prices in first-tier cities such as Beijing, excluding suburban areas, had already hit a record high in September, Zhang Dawei, research director at the Beijing office of Centaline Property, a real estate consulting firm, told the Global Times Sunday.

The area of residential homes sold in Beijing totaled 19.44 million square meters last year, up 35 percent from 2011, according to Beijing Municipal Statistics Bureau.

The growth trend will continue, at least in the short term, without effective policies such as a nationwide property tax, which is expected to be launched after China's parliamentary meetings in March, Zhang said.

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