July 2, 2012 / 4:51 AM / 5 years ago

China home prices inch up, snap nine-month losing streak: survey

A man carrying a child walks past a poster advertising a new residential area in Wuhan, Hubei province, June 18, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer

BEIJING (Reuters) - The average home price in China’s 100 major cities edged up 0.05 percent in June from May, snapping a nine-month decline and reinforcing signs that property prices are stabilizing, a private sector survey showed on Monday.

The data from China Real Estate Index System (CREIS) added to evidence that the property market is being supported by monetary policy easing and growth-obsessed local governments, even as Chinese leaders have vowed to keep property curbs.

Home prices in the world’s second-largest economy began easing in September 2011 in response to Beijing’s tightening steps to deflate potential bubbles.

“Property sales have been rebounding since March as the government fine-tunes monetary policy and some property developers stop offering discounts and even raise prices of new homes,” CREIS, a consultancy affiliated with China’s largest online real estate company Soufun Holdings (SFUN.N), said in a statement.

But home prices in the 100 cities were still down in June from a year earlier, by 1.9 percent on average to 8,688 yuan ($1,400) per square meter, CREIS said.

The average home price in China’s top 10 cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, rose 0.75 percent from May but was down 2.5 percent year-on-year, the survey showed.

The Chinese government is due to publish data on home prices in 70 major Chinese cities for June on July 18. Home prices fell for an eighth straight month in May but the pace of decline eased, official data showed.

China’s central bank cut benchmark interest rates in early June, the first such move since the depths of the 2008/09 global economic crisis. The cut followed three reductions in the bank reserve ratio since November.

Many local governments have been unveiling measures to spur home buying. In one move, China’s eastern city of Yangzhou won consent from policymakers to offer cash subsidies for families buying fully furnished apartments.

($1 = 6.3541 Chinese yuan)

Reporting By Xiaoyi Shao and Kevin Yao; Editing by Richard Pullin

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