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China May home prices gain 10.4% as demand remains strong despite cooling measures

  • Home prices in key cities a closely-watched leading indicator
  • Cooling measures on property prices have limited effect
  • Market sentiment still seems robust, analyst says
Here's where sovereign wealth funds are moving their money to
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New home prices in China rose 10.4 percent in May from a year ago compared to a gain of 10.7 percent in April, according to calculations from Reuters, with one analyst suggesting demand remains robust, for now, despite cooling measures.

Despite cooling measures by the Chinese government to moderate property prices, market sentiment is still robust, said an analyst.

"Tightening is (a) top-down (effort) but on the ground, buyer's sentiment is very strong, that's why it takes a bit longer to pull this market off (its peak)," said Alan Jin, Asia ex-Japan analyst at Mizuho Securities Asia.

However, with the "swing factor" of mortgage rates creeping up amid overall credit tightening to stem capital outflows, Jin said he expects prices to post negative growth on a month-on-month basis by the end of the year.

The on-year gains in home prices were off a peak of 12.6 percent in November and marks the fifth straight month of slowing gains, added Reuters.

Home prices in 70 cities in China were up 0.7 percent in May from the previous month, in line with April.

Home prices in the capital city of Beijing rose 13.5 percent in May from a year ago, down from 16 percent in April. In Shanghai, home prices rose 11 percent in May, down from 13.2 percent in April.

Prices in Shenzhen rose 5.4 percent from a year ago in May, down from 6.6 percent in April, while they rose 19.4 percent in Guangzhou, down from 21.6 percent in the previous month.

— Reuters contributed to this article.