China home prices rise 0.3 pct in November from October

BEIJING, Dec 18 (Reuters) - New home prices in China extended another month of steady growth in November, after picking up slightly in October, shrugging off a range of government moves to rein in an overheated property market.

Average new home prices in China’s 70 major cities rose 0.3 percent in November from the previous month, in line with October’s price gains, Reuters calculated from National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data out on Monday.

Compared with a year earlier, new home prices rose 5.1 percent in November, cooling slightly from an 5.4 percent increase in October.

China’s housing market has been on a more than two-year tear, giving a major boost to the economy but stirring fears of a property bubble even as authorities work to contain risks from a rapid build-up in debt.

Home prices have slowly levelled out and even softened in the country’s biggest cities in recent months under the weight of increasingly tough measures to curb speculation, though some smaller cities are still seeing appreciable rises.

Many analysts still maintain the view that the property boom is on a slowing trend as government cooling measures take hold.

Market watchers do not anticipate significant price declines or a crash, but weakness in property and construction are starting to drag on broader economic momentum. (Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Eric Meijer)