BEIJING, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- House prices in 70 major Chinese cities remained stable in December as regulators continued to limit speculation.
On a monthly basis, new home prices in four first-tier cities -- Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou -- increased 0.2 percent in December, 0.4 percentage points lower than the previous month, while the prices of resold houses edged up 0.4 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in an online statement.
The real estate market in smaller cities also showed signs of stabilizing as the 31 monitored second-tier cities and 35 monitored third-tier cities saw growth rates of 0.3 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.
The prices of resold houses in second-tier cities saw a slight increase of 0.1 percent last month while those in third-tier cities registered a 0.2-percent growth.
NBS chief statistician Kong Peng attributed the property market's stable development to the central government's continued efforts to stabilize land and home prices.
The number of cities that saw declining housing prices in 2019 exceeded that in the same period of 2018, according to a report from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
The Chinese government has upheld the principle of "housing is for living in, not speculation" over the years to ensure the healthy development of the property market. The year 2019 saw intensified regulatory efforts with local authorities introducing a new round of measures tailored to local conditions.
Last year, some cities tightened the regulation of the property market while others moderately relaxed the purchase restrictions. Some cities have rolled out preferential policies to lure and retain skilled workers.
The two-way targeted regulation of the property market protects the housing supply while curbing speculation, said Wu Jianbin, executive vice-president of Yango Holdings Group.
A total of 620 measures on house prices regulation were rolled out in 2019, up 38 percent from 2018, said Zhang Dawei, chief analyst with the real estate agency Centaline Property.
The central government has been working on maintaining the stability of real estate policies, completing the land regulation mechanism and making other efforts to advance the sound development of the real estate sector.
China's central bank also stressed continuous special operations in establishing a long-term management scheme for real estate finance.
The tone-setting Central Economic Work Conference held last month reiterated a long-term mechanism to maintain the sound and healthy development of the real estate market and decided to guarantee housing for low-income families in cities and further develop rental housing.