BEIJING Jan 1 Chinese property prices rose
again in December, according to two private surveys, but are
showing signs of stabilising following government measures aimed
at cooling the housing market and averting the threat of a
Prices of new homes in 288 cities in December rose 0.37
percent in December from November, when they had risen 0.77
percent, a poll by real estate services firm E-House China
showed on Wednesday.
House prices climbed 10.04 percent from a year earlier,
little changed from November's annual rise of 10.11 percent and
a seventh consecutive month of double-digit annual gains.
A separate survey by China Real Estate Index System (CREIS)
on Tuesday showed average prices in the 100 biggest cities rose
0.7 percent in December from November, when they had risen 0.68
percent, to post a 19th straight monthly gain.
On average, prices rose 11.5 percent in December from a year
earlier, CREIS said in a statement, with prices in seven cities
including Beijing and Xiamen increasing by 20 to 30 percent.
"With the housing supply increasing in 2014, shortages are
likely to be eased and developers will become more rational,"
said CREIS, a consultancy linked to China's largest online
property information firm, Soufun Holdings.
"But there might be increasing divergence between big and
small cities," it added.
House prices have surged in the past year, in part due to a
view that property remains one of the best investments. That has
prompted the government to try to head off bubbles in the market
without damaging one of the pillars of growth in a slowing
Despite the steps, which include clampdowns on mortgage
lending, increased construction of affordable homes and promises
of more land for building, many Chinese find home ownership well
beyond their reach.
Analysts say Beijing won't want to see a sudden and sharp
downturn in the property market as the leadership tries to steer
the world's second-largest economy towards more sustainable
growth after three decades of breakneck expansion.
The economy is expected to have grown about 7.5 percent in
2013, the weakest pace since the Asia financial crisis in the
A Reuters poll in November had predicted a slowdown in house
price growth, with analysts forecasting a 5.0 percent rise in
house prices in 2014 after a 10 percent gain last year.
Official data for 70 cities for November released last month
showed prices rose 0.5 percent in November in month-on-month
terms, the third straight slowdown.