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Housing prices up 7% in major Chinese cities in July
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Prices of real estate in 70 major Chinese cities rose 7.0 percent in July on the same month of last year, 1.2 percentage points lower than the June level, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday.

The NDRC, the country's top economic planning organ, said the growth rate had slowed down for six consecutive months.

The price rise was 11.3 percent in January, 10.9 percent in February, 10.7 percent in March, 10.1 percent in April, 9.2 percent in May and 8.2 in June.

In July prices of new housing went up 7.9 percent, 1.3 percentage points lower than the month-earlier level. Haikou, Urumqi, Ningbo and Beijing took the lead in price rises.

Seventeen cities experienced prices fall compared with the month earlier, including Haikou, Dali, Shenzhen and Chengdu among others.

Prices of second-hand houses gained 6.0 percent year on year, 1.5 percentage points lower than June.

New housing for non-residential use was priced 4.9 percent higher than last July,with prices of office buildings up 6.7 percent and those of commercial real estate up 4.1 percent.

(Xinhua News Agency August 13, 2008)

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