China home prices rise 0.3% in September from August, 5th month of gains

A real estate agent staff member standing on a bridge near new apartment blocks in Beijing's Wangjing area, China, on Sept 18, 2015.
A real estate agent staff member standing on a bridge near new apartment blocks in Beijing's Wangjing area, China, on Sept 18, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (REUTERS) - Average new home prices in China rose for the fifth month in a row in September, increasing 0.3 per cent from August, according to Reuters calculations from official data published on Friday.

Compared with a year earlier, home prices in September fell 0.9 per cent, slowing from a 2.3 per cent drop in August, according to Reuters calculations based on data from the National Bureau of Statistics(NBS).

New home prices in Beijing in September rose 4.7 per cent from a year earlier, while those in Shanghai increased 8.3 per cent.

China's property market accounts for around 15 per cent of the economy, so even modest signs of improvement would relieve some pressure on the cooling economy.

While home prices and sales have improved in China in recent months after a barrage of government support measures, conditions remain weak in smaller cities and a huge overhang of unsold houses is discouraging new investment and construction, dampening demand for materials from cement to steel.