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China home prices rise 1% in July
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China's home prices continued to rise in July as bank loans surged and the country's economy improved.

Home prices in 70 large and medium-sized Chinese cities rose 1 percent in July from a year earlier, according to a joint statement issued Monday by the National Development and Reform Commission and the National Bureau of Statistics.

The prices climbed 0.9 percent from June, which saw a 0.8 percent gain over May.

Prices of new homes in the listed cities rose 0.3 percent year on year in July, and 1.1 percent from June. New home prices increased in 43 cities, including eastern Ningbo City and northwestern Yinchuan City, which saw growth rates of 6.4 percent and 5.4 percent respectively.

Prices fell in 26 cities. The northern city of Shijiazhuang and southern city of Shenzhen witnessed price drops of 5.5 percent and 4.6 percent in July year on year.

Second-hand homes in the 70 cities rose 3 percent in July from the same period last year and 0.9 percent from June.

Chinese banks lent a record 7.37 trillion yuan (1.08 trillion U.S. dollars) of yuan-dominated loans in the first half, exceeding the annual target of 5 trillion yuan.

The country's central bank announced earlier this month that new loans to home buyers in the first half rose by 263.3 billion yuan year on year to 479.3 billion yuan, boosted by an improving property market performance.

New credit for property developers increased by 221 billion yuan year on year to 403.9 billion yuan, said the central bank.

Premier Wen Jiabao reaffirmed over the weekend that the government's relaxed monetary policy would continue.

(Xinhua News Agency August 10, 2009)

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