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Friday, October 23, 2015, 14:02

China's housing market continues to warm

By Xinhua

BEIJING - China's real estate sector continued to recover in September, with new home prices in an increasing number of surveyed cities registering month-on-month rises.

Of 70 large and medium-sized cities surveyed in September, new home prices climbed month on month in 39, up from 35 in August, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Friday.

Meanwhile, 21 reported month-on-month price declines, down from 26 in August, according to the NBS.

Year on year, 12 cities reported new home price increases, up from August's nine, with Shenzhen posting a surge of 38.3 percent in home prices, the sharpest increase in China's major cities.

However, prices for existing homes remained weak, with 18 cities reporting month-on-month declines, up from 16 in August. Thirty-nine cities saw price increases in September, compared with 43 the previous month.

"Trends in China's real estate market continued to diverge in September," said NBS statistician Liu Jianwei.

Home prices in top-tier cities, where demand is high, saw strong growth. In second-tier cities, prices staged mixed performances, while they continued to drop in third-tier cities.

China's housing market took a downturn in 2014 due to weak demand and a surplus of unsold homes. The cooling has continued into 2015, with both sales and prices falling and investment slowing.

To combat the slowdown, the central bank has cut benchmark interest rates four times since November and lowered banks' reserve requirement ratio twice since February. The country also eased down payment requirements for second-home purchases and some local governments have rolled back their restrictions on home purchases.

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