The FINANCIAL -- The average price of new homes in 70 Chinese cities rose for the fourth straight month in August from the month before, as lower costs of mortgages supported housing demand while shaky financial markets encouraged some investors to park money in real estate.
Home prices rose by 0.17% in August from July, following the 0.15% gain recorded in July and the 0.16% in June, the Wall Street Journal's calculations from data released on September 18 showed, according to Nasdaq.
Home prices first showed a positive reading in May after 12 straight months of decline.
From the same month a year earlier, the decline in home prices continued to narrow in August, falling 3.2% from July's 4.4% drop. The index first showed a year-over-year fall in September last year.
Shenzhen, Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, the so-called the first-tier cities, showed the biggest gains in home prices in August, with Shenzhen recording the biggest gain, 31.3%, from a year earlier. China's central bank has cut interest rates five times in 10 months since late last year, and loosened purchase restrictions, helping to fuel housing demand.
Nationwide housing sales rose 18.7% on year to 4.07 trillion yuan in the first eight months this year and gained 8.0% on year in terms of volume, according to data earlier this week.
But worries about a further slowdown in China's economy have contributed to the recent global market volatility. While housing sales and prices have showed sustained signs of improvement in recent months, investment and construction starts are still sluggish. Property developers continue to focus on destocking, especially in second-, third-, and fourth-tier cities that are saddled with high inventories of apartments.