In monitoring the wave of house price inflation that swept unevenly across the country, a region-specific approach is more desirable.
A blanket measurement of various property markets can neither tell much about the price trend for local consumers nor help the central government rein in runaway house prices.
The latest national statistics point to a continued rise in housing prices since the beginning of the year, but the pace of the increase has eased off since August.
Housing prices in 70 major Chinese cities rose 5.6 per cent in the first nine months over the corresponding period in 2005 - down 2.4 percentage points in terms of growth rate, according to a recent release by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
And China's real-estate climate index dropped 0.17 points to 103.14 in September, the second fall in two months, the statistical authorities said on Tuesday.
Based on these numbers, it seems natural for one to conclude that the rapid rise of house prices has finally come to an end. The implied message, then, is that the central government's efforts to cool down the property market are working.
However, can low-income buyers who have been priced out and policy-makers eager to engineer a slowdown of the national economy really take comfort in these national figures?