China's new home prices accelerate in February on resilient demand

BEIJING (REUTERS) – New home prices in China rose at a faster pace in February, data showed on Monday (March 15), as government cooling measures were largely eclipsed by red-hot demand for property in some major cities.

Average new home prices in 70 major cities grew 0.4 per cent in February from a month earlier, quickening slightly from a 0.3 per cent gain in January, according to Reuters calculations based on data released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

New home prices rose 4.3 per cent in February from a low base a year ago, faster than a 3.9 per cent increase in January.

Real estate, a key pillar of China’s economy, has helped underpin the country’s robust revival in growth following last year’s Covid-19-driven hit to output.

However, an extended surge in home prices in major cities in recent months has raised concerns about speculative asset bubbles and financial risks, prompting tighter regulations to close loopholes in home transactions and contain illegal fund-flows into the sector.

The NBS data also showed 56 cities reported monthly gains, with the number rising from 53 in January.

Tier-1 cities again led monthly price growth in February, though the growth rate cooled a bit to 0.5 per cent from 0.6 per cent in the previous month, the NBS data showed.

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