Rate of China house price increases slows down in March: survey



BEIJING–Price rises for new homes in China slowed in March for the third straight month, an independent survey showed, as authorities say they are looking to curb high housing costs. The average price of a new home in 100 major cities rose 10.04 percent year-on-year in March to 11,002 yuan (US$1,775) per square meter, according to the China Index Academy which compiled the survey, released late Monday.

The increase compared with a rise of 10.79 percent in February, according to the academy, the research unit of real estate website operator Soufun. The number of cities where new home prices grew by more than one percent decreased, the academy said in its release, which “indicates real estate prices in most cities are steadying further”. The government has sought for more than three years to contain rising property prices, while also promising to increase the supply of affordable housing with price increases stoking discontent among ordinary citizens. But at the same time local authorities in China make much of their income from land sales to developers. Market control measures have included restrictions on purchases of second and third homes, higher minimum down-payments and taxes in some cities on multiple and non-locally owned homes. Prices in March rose 0.38 percent from the previous month, the data showed, slowing from February’s increase of 0.54 percent, but still marking the 22nd straight month-on-month gain.

Beijing led the rise in new home prices among the 10 biggest Chinese cities in March, with the average cost increasing 27.13 percent year-on-year to 33,069 yuan per square meter, the data showed.