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China's Home Prices See Mild Increases in January

China continued to see a generally stable housing market in January, with home prices in 70 major cities showing mild month-on-month increases, official data showed on Tuesday.

New home prices in four first-tier cities -- Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou -- rose 0.6 percent month on month in January, compared with a 0.3 percent increase registered in December, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

A total of 31 second-tier cities saw a month-on-month increase of 0.4 percent in new home prices last month, while 35 third-tier cities witnessed a month-on-month rise of 0.2 percent.

The resale home market in first-tier cities saw prices increase 1.3 percent month on month in January, edging up 0.7 percentage points from December.

Prices of resold homes in second-tier cities saw a 0.4 percent month-on-month increase, while those in third-tier cities climbed 0.3 percent.

On a year-on-year basis, new home prices in first-tier cities rose 4.2 percent in January, up from 3.9 percent growth in December, while those in second-tier cities went up 4.1 percent, up from a 4 percent expansion in December.

The prices of resold homes in first-tier cities grew 9.6 percent from a year earlier, expanding 1 percentage point from growth in December.

Under the principle that "housing is for living in, not for speculation," sustained regulatory efforts at different levels have been devoted to the housing market.

For example, a policy took effect on Jan. 1 to tighten the regulation of loans in the real estate sector and home mortgage loans amid efforts to guard against systemic risks and improve the stability of the financial system.

The People's Bank of China and the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission issued a requirement that domestic banks limit the ratio between outstanding property loans and total renminbi loans.

China vowed to tackle prominent housing problems in large cities at the tone-setting Central Economic Work Conference held in December last year, listing the development of rental housing as one of its key economic tasks for 2021.

Investment in property development rose 7 percent year on year in 2020, and investment in residential buildings increased 7.6 percent year on year, NBS data shows.

(www.chinaview.cn 2021-02-25)