Home prices in China's first and second-tier cities stabilized again in December as the domestic housing market continued to cool, the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday.
The average new home prices were flat last month in first-tier cities and gained 0.2 percent in second-tier ones, down from growth of 0.1 percent and 0.4 percent in November respectively, said the bureau, which monitors prices in new and pre-occupied home markets in 70 major cities.
New home prices in tertiary cities gained 0.4 percent from November, slowing from a rise of 0.8 percent, the bureau's data showed.
"Generally speaking, we've seen continually positive changes in the country's residential sales market in December," said Liu Jianwei, the bureau's senior statistician. "Various tightening policies implemented in 15 first and second-tier cities seemed to be very effective in curbing rapid growth in new home prices, with 12 of them seeing month-on-month drops of between 0.1 and 0.4 percent in December."
New home prices in Tianjin and Hangzhou were flat last month while Guangzhou was the only one of the 15 cities to record a monthly rise of 0.7 percent, a slowdown from its gains of 0.9 percent in November, 1.3 percent in October and 3.1 percent in September.
New housing prices in the rest of the first-tier cities — Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen — fell 0.1 percent, 0.2 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively, from a month earlier, according to the bureau's data.
Similar trends also showed up on an annual basis. Prices of new and pre-owned houses in first-tier cities both grew slowly for the third straight month while in second-tier ones, the average price of new homes fell from a year earlier while the pre-owned housing market posted slower annual price growth.
"Looking forward, home prices in major Chinese cities, particularly the 20 largest ones, are expected to remain stable in 2017 as I could see no big room for looser policies," Eva Lee, head of China Real Estate Research at UBS, said last week in Shanghai.