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Real Estate Climate Index Down 0.17% in September
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China's real estate climate index dropped in September, the second fall in two months, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Tuesday.

The index stood at 103.14 in September, 1.72 points up year on year but 0.17 points lower than August, according to the NBS report.

The NBS index reflects the climate of the Chinese real estate market.

After inching up month by month from March to July, the index went down by 0.20 points in August to 103.31 points.

Previous NBS reports said the entrepreneurs' confidence index and the enterprise climate index in China's real estate sector both declined in the third quarter.

Housing prices in 70 major Chinese cities have continued to rise since the beginning of the year, but less quickly since August, according to a recent NBS release.

A recent meeting of the State Council, or China's cabinet, said macro control policies are working. It called for further efforts to regulate real estate markets in order to make houses affordable for low-income families.

The State Council's May circular contains a policy stipulating that houses of less than 90 square meters must now account for at least 70 percent of new home construction. Buyers taking out a mortgage must make a down payment of at least 30 percent at the time of purchase.

The NBS report shows real estate investment totaled 1.29 trillion yuan (US$161.3 billion) in the first nine months, up 24.3 percent year on year and 3.8 percentage points down from the first eight months.

There were 121 million square meters of vacant commercial property floor space at the end of September, 11.7 percent up year on year and 1.4 percentage points down from August, said the NBS.

(Xinhua News Agency October 25, 2006)

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