BEIJING: Chinese new-home prices in September rose at the slowest pace since March 2020 as the property market softened further amid a sustained crackdown on speculation including caps on home purchase, a private-sector survey showed on Friday.

New-home prices in 100 cities rose 0.14% in September from a month earlier, down from 0.2% growth in August, according to data from China Index Academy, one of the country’s largest independent real estate research firms.

In September, some cities intensified their campaigns to drive speculators out of the property market, taking more targeted steps such as caps on speculation on school district properties.

Regulators in the northeastern city of Shenyang and southern city of Haikou, in late September, urged real estate developers and agencies to refrain from hyping homes in school districts.

“We expect the ongoing property curbs are unlikely to be eased in the near term, as Beijing has attached national strategic importance to reining in property bubbles, directly intervening in credit supply for the property sector, leaving it little room to dial back these curbs”, Nomura said in a recent note.

Prices in the biggest tier-one cities such as Shanghai and Beijing rose 0.16%, quickening from August’s 0.11% gain.

Monthly new-home prices in tier-two cities including provincial capitals grew 0.17% following August’s 0.31% uptick, and rose 0.1% in tier-three and tier-four cities versus a 0.12% gain in August.

On an annual basis, overall new-home prices rose 3.4% in September, compared with August’s 3.51% gain.

Sentiment in China’s property market has been rocked by concerns of default risks among real estate firms as the debt crisis at property giant China Evergrande Group deepened.

China’s central bank on Monday vowed to protect consumers exposed to the property sector and injected more cash into the banking system as the Shenzhen government began investigating the wealth management unit of Evergrande.

The National Bureau of Statistics will release official September data for China’s home prices in mid-October.

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