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Housing Prices in Major Chinese Cities up 8.9% in Sep
Housing prices in 70 large and medium-sized Chinese cities rose by 8.9 percent year-on-year in September, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in Beijing on Friday.

The rise, 0.7 percentage points higher than that of August, hit a new high in defiance of the government's efforts to curb surging housing prices and provide more affordable housing for low-income families.

The rising trend shows no sign of stopping, according to a report jointly released by the NBS and the National Development and Reform Commission.

In the 70 cities, prices of newly-built commercial housing units were up by ten percent in September, one percentage point higher than that of August, while prices of low-cost housing rose by 4.2 percent and prices of luxury housing went up 10.9 percent.

Housing prices went up 15.3 percent in Beijing, 19.4 percent in Beihai and 21.1 percent in Urumqi, capital of northwest Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

NBS spokesperson Li Xiaochao said booming housing demand, tight house supply and the increase of land development cost were major reasons for the housing price rises.

Speculative buying by domestic and overseas investors is also blamed for the price rises.

Land transaction prices in major cities rose by 9.8 percent in the first quarter, 13.5 percent in the second quarter and 15 percent in the third quarter, according to the NBS.

Housing prices in major Chinese cities rose by 6.7 percent in the first nine months -- 5.6 percent in the first quarter, 6.3 percent in the second quarter and 8.2 percent in the third quarter, said the NBS.

(Xinhua News Agency October 27, 2007)

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