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China’s home price growth moderates in May

Updated: Jun 18,2016 2:30 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s property sector continued to recover but on a slower pace in May, with fewer cities reporting month-on-month rises in new-home prices, an official survey showed on June 18.

Of 70 large and medium-sized cities surveyed in May, 60 saw new-home prices climbing month on month, down from 65 in the previous month, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.

Meanwhile, four cities reported month-on-month price declines, down from five in April, according to NBS data.

On a yearly basis, 50 cities posted new-home price increases and 18 reported falls in May, compared with 46 and 23 in April.

New-home prices soared 54 percent year on year in the southern city of Shenzhen, the sharpest increase last month among all the major cities. But the growth was milder than the 63.4 percent jump recorded in April.

Prices in the top-tier cities of Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou rose 33.8 percent, 21.4 percent, and 19 percent year on year, respectively.

The northeastern city of Jinzhou registered the steepest price decline of 3.2 percent over a year earlier.

For existing homes, 49 cities reported month-on-month price increases in May and 13 reported lower prices, compared with 51 and 10 in April.

China’s housing market started to recover in the second half of 2015 after cooling for more than a year, boosted by government support measures, including interest rate cuts and lower deposit requirements.

But the sector’s recovery has been uneven from city to city, with economically strong areas reporting drastic price rises, and less developed ones showing a muted response due to a huge stock of unsold houses.

The contrasting picture has prompted local authorities to take different approaches: Shenzhen and Shanghai have tightened policies to curb speculative purchases and contain bubble risks, while third- and fourth-tier cities are exploring new ways to spur sales.