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China home price rises speed up in December: survey
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Dec 31, 2013


Increases in Chinese home prices accelerated further in December, an independent survey showed on Tuesday, while showing some signs of stabilisation as authorities fine-tune policies to keep them in check.

The average price of a new home in 100 major cities rose 11.51 percent year-on-year to 10,833 yuan ($1,789) per square metre, according to the China Index Academy, which compiled the survey.

That outpaced gains of 10.99 percent in November, 10.69 percent in October and 9.48 percent in September, said the academy, the research unit of the real estate website operator Soufun.

Prices in December also rose 0.7 percent from the previous month, the data showed, in line with November's 0.68 percent gain.

"Market expectations have become stabilised" following further measures by some cities to rein in prices, the academy said, elaborating on why the month-on-month figure showed a steadying trend.

Beijing led the rise in the average cost of a new home among the 10 biggest Chinese cities in December, with the average price jumping 28.3 percent year-on-year to 31,465 yuan per square metre, the data showed. Prices in the capital gained 0.4 percent from November.

In Shanghai new houses cost on average 31,260 yuan per square metre, up 15.6 percent from the same month a year ago and up 2.3 percent month-on-month.

The government has sought for more than three years to contain rising property prices, while also promising to increase the supply of affordable housing amid discontent among ordinary citizens at the price increases.

President Xi Jinping called in late October for improved efforts to increase home supply and for more attention on public housing projects.

A document pledging a series of reforms, issued after the Third Plenum meeting of Communist Party leaders in mid-November, hinted that a property tax might be expanded beyond its current two cities of Shanghai and Chongqing but did not give a timetable.

Earlier measures to try to control prices have included restrictions on buying second and third homes, higher minimum down-payments and taxes in some cities on ownership of multiple homes.

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