China's home prices edge up in March

BEIJING, April 16 (Xinhua) -- Home prices in 70 major Chinese cities went up on average in March, official data showed Tuesday.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a statement that new house prices in four first-tier cities -- Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou -- increased 0.2 percent month on month in March, down from the 0.3-percent increase in February.


(File Photo: Xinhua)

New home prices climbed 0.6 percent in 31 second-tier cities and rose 0.7 percent in 35 third-tier cities.

As new house prices rose slightly, prices of resold houses showed signs of rebound.

Prices for resold homes in four first-tier cities reported an average of 0.3-percent growth month on month, while that in 31 second-tier cities rose 1.2 percent, against the 0.2-percent drop from February.

Ten cities out of 70 reported month-on-month drops of resold house prices in March, down from 14 registered in February.

NBS senior statistician Liu Jianwei said local governments kept differentiated real estate policies in March, so as to maintain stable development of the property market with continuity of policies.

On a year-on-year basis, new house prices in March in first-tier cities edged up 4.2 percent, while that for second-tier cities and third-tier cities rose 12.2 percent and 11.4 percent, respectively.

Resold home prices also registered increases in most Chinese cities compared with a year ago, with second and third-tier cities seeing more robust growth than bigger cities like Beijing and Shanghai.

Asian investment bank Nomura expected the slowdown in property markets of low-tier cities to continue after a brief respite.

The ongoing recovery in the property sector, led by big cities, could be moderate, according to the Nomura research note.

The total floor space of commercial housing sold in 336 cities went down 21 percent year-on-year, despite a 53-percent increase from February, the latest data from real estate research agency E-house CRIC showed.

A long-term mechanism to maintain sound development of the real estate market was called for earlier at the Central Economic Work Conference, under the principle that "housing is for living in, not speculation," which analysts said set the tone for China's property market regulation this year.