China home prices rise for 4th month in September-survey

BEIJING, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Average home prices in China's100 big cities edged up for a fourth straight month inSeptember, a private survey showed, reinforcing signs of a mildrecovery as the government seeks to boost growth while avoidinga real estate bubble.

Average home prices rose 0.17 percent to 8,753 yuan($1,400)per square metre in September, moderating from August'smonth-on-month increase of 0.24 percent, the China Real EstateIndex System (CREIS) said.

A steady rise in home prices will, however, renew concernsabout property inflation that could prompt Beijing to furthertighten property controls in the run-up to a once-a-decadeleadership transition this year.

Property prices flared up after the central bank cutinterest rates twice in June and July to restore momentum to theworld's second largest economy.

A housing ministry official said last month that Beijingwill stick to its tight property sector policies to curb pricerises, and a nationwide rebound remains unlikely.

"Seeing no let-up in property controls, most developers havelaunched more new projects and set home prices cautiously inSeptember," said CREIS, a consultant affiliated to China'slargest online real estate firm Soufun Holdings .

Compared to a year ago, however, home prices in the 100cities are still down 1.4 percent in September, the sixth monthof year-on-year declines since June 2011, when CREIS begancalculating year-on-year changes.

In China's top 10 cities, including Beijing and Shanghai,average home prices rose 0.22 percent from August, but were down1.35 percent from a year ago, the survey showed.

The Chinese government is due to publish September homeprices in 70 major Chinese cities on October 18. Home prices inthese cities rose 0.1 percent in August from July, extending amodest increase into a second straight month.($1 = 6.2872 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting By Xiaoyi Shao and Kevin Yao; Editing by SanjeevMiglani)


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