BEIJING, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- China's red-hot property market in major cities has shown signs of cooling after authorities stepped in with a spate of measures to contain sky-high prices, an official survey showed Friday, citing fresh data for the first half of October.
Drastic price rises in 15 first- and second-tier cities have been "markedly contained" by policies to curb property price growth, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Compared with September, the month-on-month price index for new residential property in those cities retreated this month, even though most of the cities still reported rises.
In Beijing and Shanghai, home prices went up 1.2 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively, for the first half of this month, moderating from the 4.9-percent and 3.2-percent gains seen in September.
Sales also slumped. Compared with the latter half of September, sales volume in four cities dropped between 60 percent to 80 percent in the first half of this month.
The NBS attributed the "positive changes" to local government's property curb policies. Over the week-long National Day holiday, dozens of Chinese cities announced measures, including purchase limits and tightened mortgage restrictions, to prevent prices from rising out of control.
Of 70 large and medium-sized cities surveyed in September, 63 saw new home prices climb month on month, Friday's data showed.