Property prices rise in March

BY    2013-04-21 13:32:39

  Almost all of China's major cities posted a robust monthly increase in property prices in March, despite the country's latest round of tightening measures.

  Of the 70 major cities monitored by the National Bureau of Statistics, 68 saw new home prices rise month-on-month, compared with 66 in February, the bureau said on Thursday.

  Wenzhou in Zhejiang province was the only city on the list to experience a price dip last month.

  Key cities reported the biggest monthly increase, with Shanghai's 3.2 percent growth topping the list, followed by 2.8 percent in Shenzhen and 2.7 percent in Beijing.

  The situation was virtually the same on a yearly basis, with 67 cities registering annual increases last month, up from 62 in February.

  First-tier cities led the trend, with Beijing and Guangzhou recording the highest year-on-year increase of 11.2 percent.

  "Expectations of higher home costs after the implementation of the government's latest measures contributed to a purchase rush in March, which prompted property developers to either cancel discounts or hike prices," said Liu Jianwei, a senior statistician with the bureau.

  Moreover, March is traditionally a peak season for housing sales, adding to the market heat, Liu said, adding that prices are likely to stabilize in April as the government's latest round of tightening begins to kick in.

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