BEIJING Feb 1 Average home prices in China's
100 biggest cities rose 1 percent in January from December,
quickening from the 0.2 percent pace in the previous month and
marking the eighth consecutive monthly rise, a private survey
showed on Friday.
The data, published by the China Real Estate Index
System(CREIS), reinforced signs of a gradual pick-up in the
property market despite the government efforts to temper prices.
Average home prices rose 1.2 percent in January from a year
ago to 9,812 yuan ($1,600) per square metre, accelerating from
December's 0.03 percent annual rise, according to the survey.
Rising home prices could reignite official concerns about
property inflation and trigger fresh property curbs, even as the
broader China economy appears to be slowly regaining traction.
"Home prices in tier 1 cities and some eastern coastal
cities rose obviously last month, which fuelled the quick gains
on the average prices in 100 cities," CREIS, a consultancy
affiliated with China's largest online real estate company
Soufun Holdings, said in a statement.
Average home prices in China's top 10 cities, including
Beijing and Shanghai, rose 1.61 percent from December and were
up 2.84 percent from a year ago, the third year-on-year increase
since November 2012.
Property developers have become more optimistic on the
outlook of the market, helped by the recent rebound in sales and
they have increased supply of high-end properties, CREIS said.
China's home prices started to firm again in mid-2012 as the
People's Bank of China, the central bank, began to expand
monetary easing as part of Beijing's growth-supporting policies.
China's fight against property speculation has headed into
its third year, but middle-class Chinese still feel priced out
of the urban housing market.
The Chinese government is due to publish January home prices
in 70 major cities on Feb. 22. Home prices rose 0.4 percent in
December from the previous month, after a 0.3 percent rise in
November, official data showed.
The government has pledged to keep its property controls,
such as restricting the number of homes Chinese can buy,
although analysts have called for more market-oriented
instruments such as property taxes to control home prices.
The official China Securities Journal reported on Friday
that China will postpone the expansion of a pilot programme to
implement a property tax but may introduce other curbing tools
in tier 1 cities.