By Cherry Cao | 2012-7-19 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
THE number of Chinese cities seeing a month-on-month increase in home prices rose to its highest in 11 months in June, according to National Bureau of Statistics data released yesterday.
Excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, prices rose in 25 of 70 cities tracked by the bureau, the highest since August 2011. In May, six cities recorded monthly gains.
On a year-on-year basis, prices fell in 57 cities, up from 55 registered in May.
"Interest rate cuts by the central bank as well as growing concern among potential buyers of a price rebound encouraged more people to enter the property market last month, giving rise to boosted sales around the country," said Ma Xiaoming, a senior statistician at the bureau. "At the same time, some developers' recent decisions to cancel discounts or even raise prices following robust sales in previous months also contributed to last month's increases."
In June, new homes worth 531.3 billion yuan (US$84.2 billion) were sold nationwide, a rise of 41 percent from May.
In Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, where home purchase restrictions have been strictly enforced, new home prices increased by between 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent from May while Shenzhen registered a monthly dip of 0.1 percent.
In May, the four cities saw a drop of between 0.1 and 0.3 percent from April.
A similar trend also emerged in the existing home market. Thirty-one cities recorded monthly price growth in June, 13 more than May and also the highest since August 2011.
"The country's property tightening measures have proved to be effective so far in curbing home price growth as more than 80 percent of the 70 cities continued to post year-on-year price declines in June, both in the new and existing home markets," Ma said.
"However," Ma added, "it still remains a tough and long-term mission to bring down home prices to reasonable levels by squeezing out speculative demand from the market and we must stick to existing rein-in policies and prevent a rebound in home prices."