By ESTHER FUNG
SHANGHAI—Residential property prices in 100 major cities in China were up 0.40% in April from March, less than March's 0.59% increase, China Real Estate Index System said Tuesday.
The data provider said a survey of property developers and real-estate agencies showed that average home prices in April rose to 8,773 yuan ($1,351) per square meter from 8,738 ($1,345) in March. The survey, which the company compiles together with online real-estate brokerageSouFun Holdings, has been watched widely since China scrapped its national property-price index in January.
China Real Estate Index System said property prices were up in April in 77 cities and down in 22; one city posted no change. The National Bureau of Statistics is scheduled to issue April data for residential property prices in 70 major cities May 18.
Government officials have repeatedly expressed concern about housing prices, which have remained high despite a recent slowdown in transaction volumes. Two top officials said separately over the weekend that the central government remains determined to bring down prices, the Xinhua News Agency reported Monday.
President Hu Jintao said construction of public housing remains an important task, and that authorities will continue to increase financing and prioritize the allocation of land for such projects. Premier Wen Jiabao said that the central government wants property prices to stabilize and is also determined to bring prices down in some cities.
Even as it works to increase the supply of public housing, China is worried about a bubble in the private-property market. Authorities have taken a series of steps to curb growth, from interest-rate increases to administrative measures such as limits on home purchases.