China's home price gains quicken in February: surveys

[BEIJING] Chinese home prices grew at a stronger pace in February, two private surveys showed on Tuesday, underlining signs of recovery taking hold in the housing market.

Prices of new homes in 288 cities in February rose an average 4.3 per cent from a year earlier, the seventh straight month of gains and quickening from January's 3.4 per cent, a poll by property services firm Real Estate Information Corporation (CRIC) showed.

Compared with the previous month, home prices were up 0.9 per cent, improving from a 0.7 per cent increase in January, said CRIC, owned by E-House China Holding Ltd.

A separate survey from China Real Estate Index System (CREIS) showed average prices in the 100 biggest cities rose 5.3 per cent in February compared with a year earlier, the seventh year-on-year rise in a row.

"With the traditional busy season coming and the previous supportive policies gaining traction, the housing market will continue to see prices rise on improved sales," CREIS said in a statement.

China's housing market, which accounts for around 15 per cent of the economy, began to stabilise in big cities last year, helped by a slew of government measures.

Still, the recovery remains uneven across the country as small cities still face huge inventories of unsold homes, discouraging new investment and construction.

To boost the housing market, China cut down payments again last month for first-and second-time home buyers and lowered transaction taxes for some home buyers.


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