China’s Home Prices Rise at Faster Pace Even as Curbs Remain

(Bloomberg) -- China’s home prices rose by the most in 19 months in May even as the government pressed ahead with a two-year campaign to curb property speculation.

New-home prices in 70 cities tracked by the government gained 0.8 percent from a month earlier, according to Bloomberg calculations based on data from the National Bureau of Statistics released Friday. That compared with a 0.57 percent increase in April.

For more details of the May home price data, click here

Local officials are trying to tame property prices without causing an excessive slowdown, rolling out a series of restrictions to stamp out speculative purchases. Six cities, including Foshan and Chengdu, have recently stepped up curbs after the housing ministry reiterated the central government’s urge to stabilize the property market.

The real estate sector continues to be “surprisingly resilient” amid a notable slowdown in the broader economy, Wei Yao, chief China economist at Societe Generale SA in Paris, wrote in a note Thursday.

The data add to signs of strength after home sales by value bounced back last month, in a what is traditionally a slow season, separate data released Thursday showed. China’s top 100 developers saw sales jump 17.7 percent in May from the previous month, the fastest growth this year, as more new projects were allowed in second and third-tier cities, according to data collector China Real Estate Information Corp.

Shares of Chinese property developers, including China Evergrande Group and China Vanke Co. rose in early Friday trading.

Home prices, excluding government-subsidized housing, increased in 61 of the 70 cities, compared with 58 in April, today’s data show.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Emma Dong in Shanghai at edong10@bloomberg.net;Zhang Dingmin in Beijing at dzhang14@bloomberg.net

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With assistance from Editorial Board