China's housing prices rose 3.5 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, according to a report released by the State Development Planning Commission (SDPC) in Beijing Thursday.
The report was based on a nationwide survey of real estate markets in 35 large and medium-sized cities last year, jointly carried out by the SDPC and the National Bureau of Statistics.
The report attributed the price rises to last year's steady economic growth, housing reforms, the opening of the second-hand housing market, increased investment in real estate, higher incomes among China's urban population, and the higher cost of building housing.
The report said land prices in the fourth quarter of 2002 soared 7.8 percent year-on-year.
House rentals increased by 0.8 percent in the fourth quarter last year compared with the same period in 2001, according to the report.
It also noted that the prices for housing, land and house rents last year rose 3.7 percent, 6.9 percent and 0.8 percent respectively as compared with the indices in 2001.
(Xinhua News Agency January 17, 2003)