(Bloomberg) -- China home-price growth accelerated for the first time in seven months, as authorities took steps to ease some property curbs and head off a broader downturn.

  • New-home prices, excluding state-subsidized housing, rose 0.35% last month from November in 70 major cities, National Bureau of Statistics data showed Thursday. That’s slightly better than the 0.3% gain the previous month.
  • Fifty cities reported a gain in values, up from 44 in November.

Key Insights

  • After price-growth slowed in the second half of last year, some local governments are now acting to support the property market and head off a steeper downturn that would further undermine an economy growing at the slowest pace in almost 30 years.
  • Guangdong province this week said it will make it easier to obtain highly sought-after residency permits, which has the potential to boost home sales. Last month, three municipal authorities in Sichuan and Hunan provinces offered cash handouts to home-buyers.
  • The easing of property curbs may last another six months “as policymakers look to avoid a sharp industry slowdown,” according to John Lam, head of China real estate research at UBS Group AG.
  • They may also be welcomed by cash-strapped developers, who have been cutting prices to attract buyers. China Evergrande Group’s nationwide sales promotion has started earlier than in previous years and will last longer, after the developer unveiled its weakest sales-growth target in eight years.

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  • The gains were stronger in so-called second- and third-tier cities, where authorities have been more supportive of the market. Growth slowed in the four biggest cities, where curbs remain stringent.
  • For more detail on the data, click here

Read More

  • China Loosens Urban Residency Restrictions to Spur Growth
  • China Gets Creative on Home Prices as Real Estate Market Cools
  • China’s Biggest Home Builders Turn in Poor Sales Growth for 2019

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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, Jonas Bergman

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