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China to revamp housing price statistical system

KUALA LUMPUR: China has mapped out a plan to revamp its statistical system for housing prices following an incident earlier this year that cast doubts on the reliability of its housing price data.

National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) head Ma Jiantang said the draft plan is expected to be out before October to garner public feedback before its implementation starting next year, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.

Ma said there would be many changes to the present housing price statistical system that covers data sources, survey methods, data summarisation and calculation methodology.

However, to maintain the comparability in data, the current system will still be used for another year despite the new system’s scheduled implementation in 2011.

The bureau currently releases the average housing price in China’s 70 major cities from statistics, which are either reported by property developers or farmed by price inspectors.

In February, the NBS and the Ministry of Land and Resources released contradictory sets of data, prompting questions on the data's reliability.

NBS said China's average housing price rose 1.5% from 2009, while the Ministry’s price monitoring agency said average residential housing prices jumped by 25.1% from last year.
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