China home-price growth slows as property curbs start to bite

New properties are seen near a square in Zhengzhou, China.
New properties are seen near a square in Zhengzhou, China.PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI (BLOOMBERG) - China's runaway property market cooled slightly in October, as authorities intensified home-buying curbs to avert a potential housing bubble.

New-home prices, excluding government-subsidized housing, gained last month in 62 of the 70 cities tracked by the government, compared with 63 in September, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday (Nov 18). Prices dropped in seven cities, compared with six a month earlier. They were unchanged in one.

Some local authorities have stepped up property curbs, following a raft of restrictions rolled out in almost two dozen cities since late September. Eastern Hangzhou, where Alibaba Group Holding is based, ruled more non-local buyers ineligible last week, two months after halting purchases for some non-local residents. China's banking regulator has told banks to review their mortgage lending and property development loans after China Minsheng Banking Corp suspended approvals of some non-standard mortgages in Shanghai.

A Nov 11 report by Fang Holdings, the owner of China's biggest property website, showed average new-home prices in 100 cities tracked rose 1.7 per cent last month from September, down from a 2.8 per cent gain the previous month.