January home prices up 11.3 pct than 2007

Updated: 2008-03-06 21:32

BEIJING -- Property prices in major Chinese cities in January jumped 11.3 percent compared with the same period last year, the country's economic planning body said on Thursday.

The average figure for the 70 large- and medium-sized cities was 0.8 percentage points higher than the rise in December, said the National Development and Reform Commission in a statement.

Overall prices in January rose 0.3 percent from the previous month.

Prices for newly-built apartments soared 12.2 percent year-on-year in the period, while prices for used flats rose 11.9 percent.

Urumqi, capital of the northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, posted the fastest increase at 25 percent. It was followed by Nanning, the southern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region capital, at 20.3 percent.

Beijing was up 17.2 percent, while Shanghai rose 10.1 percent. The two cities have been the mainland's fastest climbing housing markets in recent years.

In contrast, prices of new homes in the southwestern city of Chongqing declined 2.9 percent from the previous month, while Shenzhen in the southern Guangdong Province fell 1.2 percent.

China's economy expanded 11.4 percent last year, partly fueled by a 24.8 percent increase in fixed assets investment.

For some time now, the government has been trying to curb rising housing prices in the red-hot market. Last year, the central bank raised the commercial bank reserve ratio 10 times. So far this year, it has increased the level once in an attempt to curb credit growth.

The commission's statement said housing prices remained high in January but were rising at a slower pace as the country's macroeconomic policy had begun to pay off in November.

In the fourth quarter of 2007, housing prices rose 10.2 percent year-on-year, according to the commission.

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