BEIJING, July 3 (Xinhua) -- China's home prices stayed largely stable during the first half of the year, according to a report from the China Index Academy.
Average home prices in 100 cities monitored by the academy rose 1.45 percent in the first six months, slowing from 2.64 percent a year ago.
"The property market has become more fragmented in different cities during the first half," the report said.
Average monthly sales in first-tier cities jumped 38.5 percent year on year to 570,000 square meters. Second-tier and third-tier cities saw their monthly sales fall 1.4 percent and 12 percent, respectively, to 750,000 square meters and 300,000 square meters.
As for newly-built homes, prices rose 0.29 percent in first-tier cities. Second-tier cities saw prices up 2.3 percent, compared with a 4.22-percent growth seen the same period last year. Third- and fourth-tier cities grew 2.28 percent, slowing from 4.75 percent a year earlier.
The secondhand home market remained stable during the first few months of the year but has recently shown signs of recovery. Top 10 cities reported a marginal 0.01 percent dip in used home prices in the first half.
Property prices in Chinese cities, especially in Xi'an and Suzhou, rose in March and April, forcing local governments to step in and introduce more tightening measures.
China's banking regulator in late May also ordered banks not to channel funds into developers via the shadow banking sector.
This reflects the tightened measures authorities have implemented in accordance with market changes, according to the report.
China has demonstrated strong commitment to restraining excessive growth in housing prices, stressing that "housing is for living in, not for speculation."
Many cities have introduced or strengthened measures to lower demand, including restrictions on who can buy second or third homes and increases in the minimum downpayment required for mortgages.