China Jan home prices rise 0.8 pct y/y-Reuters calc

BEIJING Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:36pm EST

BEIJING Feb 22 (Reuters) - Average new home prices in China's 70 major cities rose 0.8 percent in January from a year earlier, according to Reuters calculations based on official data published on Friday, reversing an annual drop of 0.04 percent in December.

In month-on-month terms, prices rose for the sixth month in the last seven, gaining 0.7 percent in January.

China's fight against property speculation, heading into its third year, has centred around reducing financing for buyers and limiting the number of homes one family can own.

Yet government efforts to bolster a slowing economy, including interest rate cuts in June and July, and spending on infrastructure projects have changed market sentiment and fuelled expectations of real estate price rises.

The National Bureau of Statistics said new home prices in Beijing rose 3.3 percent in January from a year earlier, compared with December's year-on-year increase of 1.6 percent. Shanghai's prices were up 1.3 percent in January on a year ago, versus no change in December.

Reuters started its weighted China home price index in January 2011 when the NBS stopped providing nationwide data, only giving home price changes in each of the 70 major cities. (Reporting By China Economics Team; Editing by Nick Edwards)

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