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China property prices have stopped rising, says NDRC

BEIJING: Chinese property prices have stopped rising and transaction volumes have dwindled since the middle of last month, the country's top economic planner said on May 19.

Prices will remain high, neither rising nor falling much, in coming months with the market entering a "wait-and-see period", the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement on its website.

China has introduced a slew of measures, such as higher downpayment requirements and higher taxes, to rein in the red-hot property sector and control speculative buying.

The average price of newly built residential houses in 36 major cities rose 3.7% in April from a month earlier, the NDRC said.

April's figure was well above rises of 1.1% in March and 2.6% in February. But the NDRC said prices in the second half of the month had stopped rising, after an April 15 announcement by the government that it was raising downpayments and mortage rates on some home purchases.

"The property transaction volume has shrunk and prices also stopped rising from the fast growth momentum in the first half of April, after the government launched the property tightening measures," its said.

The price of land used for residential houses in 70 major cities was down 3.4% from a month earlier, according to China Index Academy, a unit of Soufun.com, a top real-estate portal in China. -- Reuters

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