China's property market held broadly steady in November with home prices edging down in major cities amid tough purchase restrictions and a tight liquidity environment, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Monday.
New residential house prices went down in 11 of the 15 major cities, annually, considered the "hottest markets." On a month-on-month basis, new residential housing prices fell in 7 of the 15 cities, while Beijing, Shanghai, Zhengzhou and Wuhan saw prices flat with October.
NBS statistician Liu Jianwei said that housing prices stayed generally stable in major cities as differentiated control policies continued to take effect.
In first-tier cities where the curbs are strictest, home prices continued to soften, with new residential housing and second-hand home prices down 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively, from a month earlier.
In contrast, the property market in second- and third-tier cities is showing signs of picking up, with new residential housing prices gaining 0.5 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively, from October.
The data provides evidence that government cooling measures to prevent asset bubbles in the property market are producing the desired outcomes.
Since late last year, dozens of local governments have passed or expanded restrictions on house purchases and increased the minimum down payment required for a mortgage.
The property market was also cooled by relatively tightened liquidity conditions as the government moved to contain leverage and risk in the financial system.
Due to the broad efforts, both investment and sales in China's property sector slowed in the first 11 months. Official data showed real estate investment rose 7.5 percent year-on-year during January-November, down from 7.8 percent in the first 10 months.
Property sales in terms of floor area climbed 7.9 percent in the first 11 months, retreating from 8.2 percent in January-October.
Although the property market has proved to be a significant growth driver for China, policymakers are determined to crack down on speculation.
Last month, authorities announced measures to prohibit property developers, real estate agencies as well as Internet finance and micro-loan companies from offering illicit downpayment financing for buyers.
Using funds obtained through channels such as consumer loans for property purchases will also be banned, according to the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.
A report from the National Academy of Economic Strategy predicted that the country's property market should remain stable next year if there was no major policy shock.
Chinese authorities have constantly reiterated that "houses are built for living in, not speculation," pledging to step up housing system reform and create a long-term market mechanism.
The Central Economic Work Conference, which opened Monday to review the country's 2017 economic performance and make plans for 2018, is expected to detail the future policy stance on the property market.