China home prices rise 3.6% in February, fastest pace since mid-2014

Apartment buildings are seen under construction in Hubei province, China, on Dec 18, 2015.
Apartment buildings are seen under construction in Hubei province, China, on Dec 18, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China's home prices rose 3.6 per cent in February, above the previous month's 2.5 per cent gain, an official survey showed on Friday (March 18), marking the quickest year-on-year increase since June 2014.

Compared with a month earlier, home prices in February rose 0.6 per cent, up from January's 0.4 per cent, Reuters calculated from data issued by the National Bureau of Statistics(NBS).

The southern city of Shenzhen continued to be the top performer with home prices rising 56.9 per cent in February from a year ago.

Reuters started its weighted China home price index in January 2011 when the NBS stopped providing nationwide data, only giving home price changes in each of 70 major cities.

China's housing market bottomed out in the second half of 2015 on government support measures, but a strong rebound in prices in the biggest cities has sparked concerns that some markets may be overheating, raising fears of a property bubble.

The recovery remains uneven across the country as small cities still face huge inventories of unsold homes, discouraging new investment and construction.