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July Sees Record Housing Price Rises in Major Cities

Housing prices in 70 major Chinese cities were up a record 7.5 percent in July from the same month last year, according to a report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the National Development and Reform Commission.

The rise hit a new high and is 0.4 percentage points higher than the figure of June.

Beihai, Shenzhen and Nanning saw the highest price hikes at 18.6 percent, 16.1 percent and 12 percent respectively.

Meanwhile, a report released by the NBS here on Friday showed the real estate performance indices had risen for four consecutive months to 104.00 points in July from 101.22 points in March, indicating possible overheating.

"The disparity between tight supply and overheating demand pushed the prices up," said Zhu Zhongyi, vice president of the China Real Estate Association.

Robust housing price hikes and booming demand also led to increasing property investment which saw a 28.9 percent rise in the first seven months of 2007, said the NBS report.

The report said the total area of "developed" land in China rose 11.3 percent to 142 million square meters in the first seven months. The growth was 3.7 percentage points higher than the first half of this year.

Driven by property development investment, domestic bank loans rose by 21.4 percent, company-raised funds by 32.2 percent and foreign funds soared 74.5 percent.

(Xinhua News Agency August 18, 2007)

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