China property inflation quickens in October - surveys

Reuters

BEIJING, Nov 1 (Reuters) - China's property inflationquickened in October, two private surveys showed, a developmentthat could reignite fears of a real estate bubble in the world'ssecond largest economy.

Prices of new homes in 288 major cities rose 0.8 percent inOctober from the previous month, accelerating from September's 0.4 percent increase, a poll released on Friday by E-House China, a real estate services firm.

From a year ago, house prices jumped 10.5 percent inOctober, quickening slightly from September's 10.4 percentannual gains, E-House said.

Home prices hit record highs in many cities in September,official data previously showed, putting them well beyond thereach of ordinary people despite a nearly four-year longgovernment effort to curb price rises.

The signs of overheating in the property market have ledsome analysts to speculate the government may unveil measuresduring or after a key Communist Party meeting this month.

The central government did not introduce any nationwidemeasures since the new leadership formally took office in March,but local authorities in some areas have taken steps to try tocool prices.

Analysts see the way Premier Li Keqiang has not taken anytightening measures as reflecting a desire let market forces,rather than administrative actions, control the property market.

PRESIDENT'S PLEDGE

However, President Xi Jinping pledged this week to increasethe supply of land for homes and spend more to projectsproviding affordable housing.

A survey by China Real Estate Index System (CREIS), alsoreleased on Friday, showed average prices in the 100 biggestcites rose for the 17th straight month in October. Prices wereup 1.2 percent on a monthly basis, compared with 1.1 percent inSeptember, it showed.

"Some developers have launched more middle and high-end homeprojects in October to pursue high profit margins, pushing uphome prices," said a statement from CREIS, a consultancy linkedto China's largest online property information firm, SoufunHoldings.

Average home prices in the 100 biggest cities rose 11percent in October from a year ago, up from September's 9.5percent annual gain, according to CREIS.

In the 10 most expensive cities, including Beijing andShanghai, average home prices rose 2 percent last month and 16percent on the year, CREIS added.

China is due to publish official home price data for 70major cities for October on Nov. 18. In September, new homeprices rose the most in nearly three years.

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