BEIJING, Oct. 19 -- Fewer Chinese cities saw rises in home prices in September as the country continued its efforts to curb property costs, figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Thursday.
In September, 31 cities out of a statistical pool of 70 major cities recorded higher new house prices than a month earlier, down from 36 in August, according to the NBS.
Compared with August, new home prices in 24 cities declined in September, up from 20 in August, and 15 cities saw their new home prices unchanged, the data showed.
On a year-on-year basis, fewer cities saw rebounds in new home prices last month, with 12 out of the 70 cities witnessing increases of up to 1.2 percent. Prices rose in 14 cities in August from one year earlier.
China has tightened its curbs on the property sector since 2010 in an effort to bring rocketing home prices back to a reasonable level. The government has restricted home purchases in several cities while requiring higher down payments and introducing property taxes.
Recent government policies to bolster a slowing economy, including interest rate cuts in June and July, have helped boost demand for housing and have fueled expectations of price rises.
During recent talks on economic conditions, Premier Wen Jiabao said the country's economic growth has started to stabilize and witnessed positive changes with the economy running well in the third quarter.
The premier required relevant authorities to unswervingly adhere to the property market control policies, continue to promote the construction of affordable housing, ensure fair housing distribution among low-income families and increase supplies of commercial housing.
In regards to changes in home prices in September, NBS spokesman Sheng Laiyun on Thursday told a press conference that the country's property market was generally stable with home prices declining steadily.
This indicates that ordinary people's desires to have their own homes will be satisfied in the near future, he said.
The changes in home prices in September were remarkable amid the extended economic downturn.
China's economic growth cooled to 7.4 percent in the third quarter, the lowest reading since 2009, as a result of sluggish exports and overcapacity in the domestic market.
To achieve a balance in development between the economy and the property market, local governments have to reduce their reliance on real estate development and shift their work focus toward changing the development mode, said analysts.