Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics of China on March 16 showed that the year-on-year increase in new home prices in 70 major Chinese cities narrowed to 2.0% in February, down from a 2.3% rise last month.

According to Reuters’ calculations based on the official data, average new home prices in China’s 70 major cities were flat at 0.00% month-on-month, compared with a 0.1% gain in January.

The statistics bureau estimated that in February, among the 70 major cities, 27 saw new home prices rise from January, three were flat, and 40 were down.

Sheng Guoqing, chief statistician of the National Bureau of Statistics’ urban division, said that the sales prices in February of new commercial properties and second-hand houses in first-tier cities rose month-on-month, while second-and third-tier cities were flat or down from the previous month.

The “100 City Price Index Report” released by the China Index Academy at the beginning of the month showed that new home prices in 100 major cities in February stopped falling and rose by 0.03%. This was driven by the rise in home prices in major cities such as Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Hefei. In January, home prices fell 0.01%.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, real estate investment remained stable in the first two months, but sales were weak, downward pressure on the industry was still high. The bureau said that the policies need to be loosened.

Since January 2018, the National Bureau of Statistics has canceled the statistical indicators of the sales price of affordable housing, only compiled and issued the price index of newly-built commercial properties, and no longer compiled and issued the price index of newly-built housing.

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