Despite the convention that October is the peak season for property trading, property prices in the nation's major cities remained stable, and pre-owned home prices in top-tier cities declined month-on-month, National Bureau of Statistics data showed on Thursday.
Local governments maintained their grip on property speculation, implementing tailored measures in accordance with their own conditions. The tightening moves have helped the property market return to rational levels as the October figure showed new home price growth was slower month-on-month and pre-owned home prices in first-tier cities started to decline, said Liu Jianwei, a senior statistician at the NBS.
New home prices in the first-tier Chinese cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen remained unchanged in October compared to September, while their pre-owned home prices edged down by an average of 0.2 percent month-on-month, according to the NBS index that tracks home price changes in the nation's 70 major cities.
Among the 70 cities surveyed by the NBS, 31 tier-two cities, mostly provincial capitals, saw new home prices rise 1 percent and pre-owned home prices increased by 0.3 percent from the previous month. This narrowed the growth rates by 0.1 and 0.5 percentage point respectively from September.
Meanwhile, 35 tier-three cities saw their new home prices increase 1.1 percent and pre-owned home prices rise by 0.5 percent from the previous month.
"The new home price index of the 70 cities grew 1 percent month-on-month on average, and rose 9.7 percent year-on-year. This may have something to do with the fact that we are in a traditional peak season for property trading," said Yan Yuejin, director of Shanghai-based E-house China Research and Development Institution.
"Compared to August and September, a distinctive characteristic of October was that house prices in the secondary market showed signs of softening, with 14 cities reporting a drop," said Zhang Dawei, chief analyst at Centaline Property Agency Ltd.
Xiamen in Fujian province reported a 0.9 percent month-on-month decline, followed by Shenzhen with 0.6 percent, while Hangzhou and Ningbo, both in Zhejiang province, saw declines of 0.4 and 0.3 percent, respectively.
The first-tier cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou reported that their pre-owned home prices fell 0.2 percent each compared with the previous month.
"Compared to new homes, pre-owned home prices better reflect the market situation," said Zhang.
Pre-owned home transactions account for more than half of the total home trading volume in major first and second-tier Chinese cities, and that figure could exceed 80 percent in Beijing and Shanghai.