Business

New home prices in China rise for 51st straight month

BEIJING: China's new home prices rose last month as the property sector held up as one of the few bright spots in the slowing economy.

Average new home prices in China's 70 major cities rose 0.6 per cent in July from the previous month, unchanged from growth reported in June and marking the 51st straight month of gains, Reuters calculated based on the National Bureau of Statistics data yesterday.

On a year-on-year basis, home prices rose at their weakest pace this year last month by 9.7 per cent, slowing from a 10.3 per cent gain in June.

Analysts said the moderate gains were a positive sign that the market was not overheating.

"Today's data is actually pretty good, reflecting that tougher stance and not alarming at all," said Mr David Ji, head of research and consultancy, Greater China, at Knight Frank, referring to central policymakers' July decision to not use the property market as a form of short-term stimulus.

"If I were a provincial official who has a 'key performance indicator' to hit, I would feel happy because it is clearly telling you the property market is off the peak."

The majority of the 70 cities surveyed by the bureau still reported a monthly price increase for new homes, although the number of cities fell to 60 last month from 63 in June. - REUTERS

Property