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Property prices rise in more big cities

By Hu Yuanyuan  (China Daily)

09:12, February 23, 2013

A housing project in Qingdao, Shandong province, on Thursday. Despite government measures to cool property market, housing demand still grew steadily in the second half of 2012. [Photo by Huang Xianjie / for China Daily]

Latest figures reveal costs increase for both new and pre-owned homes

Around three-quarters of China's major cities saw price rises for both new and pre-owned housing in January, figures from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Friday.

Of the 70 major cities monitored, 53 saw property prices rise year-on-year, compared with 40 in December, according to the NBS.

Twenty-five cities in November and 12 in October experienced a price hike on a yearly basis, indicating a rally in the housing market.

The average price growth rate among the cities was 4.7 percent, up from last month's 2.4 percent, the NBS figures showed.

"Despite measures to cool property market speculation, housing demand still grew steadily in the second half of 2012, resulting in a rebound in prices, and this trend is continuing into early 2013," said Mark Budden, area leader, greater China at EC Harris, the global property and construction consulting firm.

Major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou led the price hikes

Home prices in the capital rose by 3.3 percent year-on-year and 1.6 percent month-on-month, with the equivalent figures in Guangzhou at 2 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively.

However, some second- and third-tier cites, including Nanning and Guilin in Guangxi, Haikou in Hainan, and Dali in Yunnan experienced both yearly and monthly price drops, reflecting a huge increase in property supply in those places.

Industry experts said they expected such varied market conditions to persist over the rest of the year, and attention should be given to potential property bubbles developing in smaller cities.

"There is still strong demand in Beijing, as seen by the recovery led by the market for older homes," said Nie Meisheng, honorable chairman of the Chamber of Real Estate Commerce at the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce.

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