China Sept home prices flat on month, investment slows
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Home prices in China were broadly flat last month from August, calculations based on official data showed on Thursday, halting two months of upticks in a sign that government efforts to maintain strict controls on speculative activity are working.
Prices gained just 0.01 percent in September compared with August, following monthly gains of 0.1 percent in both August and July. Year on year, home prices across China fell 1.3 percent, according to calculations from official data.
Real estate investment, accounting for 14.4 percent of China's gross domestic product in January-September, rose 15.4 percent in the first nine months from a year earlier, slowing from an annual increase of 15.6 percent in January-August, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Thursday.
Despite the broader economic slowdown, the government has waged a campaign for two years to cool red-hot property prices, putting an extra brake on economic activity. Analysts say that has offset the impact of pro-growth policy easing.
Since there is no let-up in property controls, home prices show signs of stabilising in September, said Hui Jianqiang, research head at E-House China, a real estate information provider.
The month-on-month data show home prices in Beijing rose 0.1 percent, while those in Shanghai were flat. The two key cities saw year-on-year price falls of 0.5 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.
Compared to a year ago, however, home prices are still falling nationwide. The 1.3 percent drop in September was the seventh such decline, according to calculations.
New home prices rose in 31 of those cities month-on-month in September, down from 35 in August, the NBS noted.
Premier Wen Jiabao said on Wednesday that China will keep restrictions on the property market, dispelling any suggestion that the government would allow a rebound in the housing market by relaxing purchase restrictions.
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