(Bloomberg) -- New-home price growth in China snapped a four-month weakening streak, one of the first official signs there may be a widespread recovery in the nation’s housing market.

  • The value of new homes, excluding government-subsidized housing, gained 0.61 percent on average in March from February in 70 major cities tracked by the nation’s statistics bureau, official data released Tuesday showed. That accelerated from a 0.53 percent rise a month earlier.

Key Insights

  • The recovery is more evident in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, where local governments have increasingly sought to use so-called stealth easing to offset reduced support from shanty-town renovation projects
  • The data will have investors watching closely for home-sales data due Wednesday to gauge if buyer sentiment has improved. Home-price data has been increasingly affected by the product mix of new homes put on the market, which is under government control. Even so, there were early signs of green shoots in home sales last month
  • A rebound in home-price growth also puts a question mark over whether there will be more loosening of property curbs. Credit growth rose strongly in March, and that’s seeped through to the real estate industry via bank loans. Beijing also recently directed dozens of smaller cities to scrap rules on local residency permits in a timely boost for housing markets in those towns

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  • Prices in Tier 1 cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, gained 0.2 percent, the slowest increase in five months. Values rose at a faster 0.63 percent and 0.65 percent in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities respectively

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Emma Dong in Shanghai at edong10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Katrina Nicholas at knicholas2@bloomberg.net, Peter Vercoe

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