BEIJING - China's property prices in 70 major cities rose 9.3 percent in August from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) of China said Friday.
The year-on-year growth rate was one percentage point lower than the year-on-year growth rate in July, a statement on the NBS website said Friday.
The year-on-year growth rate was the slowest in the past eight months this year.
On a year-on-year basis, China's home prices rose 7.8 percent in December 2009, 9.8 percent in January 2010, 10.7 percent in February, 11.7 percent in March, 12.8 in April, 12.4 percent in May, 11.4 percent in June and 10.3 percent in July
New home prices rose 11.7 percent year-on-year in August, down 1.2 percentage points from July. New home prices in August were unchanged from July, too.
Prices of second-hand homes rose 6.2 percent year-on-year in August, down 0.5 percentage points from July. Prices of second-hand homes in August increased on a month-on-month basis, up 0.1 percent from July.
Home sales stood at 68.86 million square meters in August, down 10.1 percent from a year earlier, with sales volume topping 353.3 billion yuan ($51.96 billion), down 8.6 percent year on year.
Investment in property sector soared 34.1 percent to 449 billion yuan in August.
The data come after reports said property transactions rose in August from July.
The China Index Academy, which researches China's property market, said 26 of the 30 cities it surveyed saw month-on-month increases in new home transactions. The growth rate in transactions was above 90 percent in cities like Wenzhou in Zhejiang province and Xiamen in Fujian province.
Xue Jianxiong, an analyst with China Real Estate Information Corporation(CRIC), said the market was sluggish for about four months as the government cracked down on speculation but that pent up demand vented in August, as evidenced by the growth in transactions.
"The transaction volumes were much lower in most cities compared to last year. The worst is over judging by the month-on-month changes," said Chen Cheng, deputy director of the China Index Academy.
"China faces huge pressure to slow property prices growth. The demand is obviously there. If lending is not kept tight, property prices will quickly pick up," a Shenzhen-based private equity analyst who declined to be named told Xinhua.
Property developers also reported gains in sales.
China Vanke Co, the country's largest listed developer, reported a 149 percent increase in sales in August compared to August 2009 while Poly Real Estate Group Co, China's second largest developer, said its sales almost doubled.
The Chinese government took measures in April to cool soaring home prices, including curbing lending to developers, limiting loans for third-home purchases and requiring higher down-payments for second-home purchases.