HOME prices in China continued to see slower rises in May, with fewer cities recording month-on-month increases, the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday.

Excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, new home prices rose in 65 of the 70 cities tracked by the bureau, compared with 67 in April and 68 in March. In the pre-owned home market, 64 cities saw monthly growth in May, down from 66 in April.

The data showed that new home prices in 34 cities saw slower month-on-month rises. The cities of Fuzhou, Zhengzhou, Guangzhou and Chengdu saw price rises narrow by at least 0.6 percentage points.

Guilin in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region saw the biggest increase at 2.9 percent last month. Of the country's four first-tier cities, Shenzhen led with a 1.9 percent gain, followed by Shanghai up 1.7 percent, Beijing up 1.6 percent and Guangzhou's 1.5 percent rise, the bureau said.

Home prices in Tangshan, Changde and Sanya dropped last month while those in Luzhou and Zunyi were flat.

"As tightening measures continued to take effect, the number of cities registering price gains kept declining in both new and existing home markets," said Liu Jianwei, a senior statistician at the bureau.

The latest data echoed an earlier report released by the bureau, which signaled easing sentiment among homebuyers following an extremely hectic March.

The value of new home purchases in China surged 56.8 percent to 2.19 trillion yuan (US$357 billion) in the first five months, down from a 65.2 percent annual rise between January and April and a 69 percent gain in the first quarter, the bureau said. 

SOURCE: shanghaidaily
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