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Housing prices resilient in Chinese cities

18 october 2011, 16:55
Prices of new homes in Chinese cities remained resilient in September despite Beijing's efforts to cool the property market, AFP reports, quoting official data Tuesday.

The cost of new homes in 24 out of 70 Chinese cities tracked by the government rose in September from August, compared with 23 cities in August, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement.

However, the month-on-month increase in prices in the 24 cities was no more than 0.3 percent, it said.

New home prices in another 29 cities were stable in September from August, while only 17 cities recorded price falls.

Soaring property prices are a major source of official and consumer concern in China, with housing costs rising out of the reach of many people and threatening to spark social unrest in the country of more than 1.3 billion.

China has introduced a range of measures aimed at reducing prices, such as bans on buying second homes in some cities, hiking minimum down payments and introducing property taxes.

But officials are treading carefully as the real estate sector is a major driver of economic growth and land sales to developers are an important source of revenue for cash-strapped local governments.

The bureau said nearly all cities, 69, saw new home prices rise on a year-on-year basis in September.

In Shanghai, the nation's commercial hub, new home prices rose 3.1 percent on the year last month, picking up from 2.8 percent in August.

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