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Urban real estate prices up 11% in Q1
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Property prices in 70 large and mid-sized Chinese cities rose 11 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said on Friday.

The price hike is 0.8 percentage points higher than that in the previous quarter, the NDRC said in a joint statement with the National Bureau of Statistics.

Prices of new apartments jumped 11.8 percent, down 0.4 percentage points from the same quarter last year, while prices of second-hand flats rose 11.5 percent, up 1.7 percentage points.

Prices of new non-residential properties were up 7 percent, 0.3percentage points higher than the same quarter of last year, while those of second-hand non-residential properties rose by 8.9 percent, up 2.1 percentage points.

Prices of new properties in mid-sized cities rose faster in March than that of big cities such as Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing, which saw faster price rises in the 2006-2007 period.

Urumqi, capital of the northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, continued to top the growth list with a 25.3 percent increase in March. It was followed by Haikou and Ningbo, which saw property prices rose 18.3 percent and 18.2 percent, respectively.

Beijing reported a 16.9 percent hike in prices of new properties in the previous month.

In contrast, prices of new homes in Shenzhen, a southern city bordering Hong Kong, and Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, fell 4.9 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively, from the previous month.

(Xinhua News Agency April 19, 2008)

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