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Housing Prices Keep Rising, But More Slowly
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Housing prices in 70 major Chinese cities have continued to rise since the beginning of the year, but the pace of the increase has eased off since August.

Prices rose 5.6 percent in the first nine months over the corresponding period of 2005, down 2.4 percentage points, according to a release on Friday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The slower rise in the third quarter can be attributed to central government's efforts to stabilize housing prices, said the release.

Investment in real estate, a sector the government has been trying to cool down, totaled 1.29 trillion yuan (US$161.3 billion) in the first nine months, up 24.3 percent year-on-year.

Overall, macro control policies are working, but housing prices in some cities are still surging, according to a recent State Council meeting, who called for further efforts to regulate real estate markets in order to make houses affordable for low-income families.

(Xinhua News Agency October 20, 2006)

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