BEIJING, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- Prices of both new and existing homes continued to rise in most Chinese cities in September, according to official data released on Tuesday.
Of a statistical pool of 70 major Chinese cities, 65 saw a month-on-month rise in the cost of new homes, down from 66 in August, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.
According to the bureau, 63 cities reported month-on-month price gains for existing and second-hand homes in September, compared to 58 in August.
On a year-on-year basis, the cost of new homes rose in 69 cities last month, the same as the August figure, while 68 cities reported higher year-on-year prices for existing homes last month, also unchanged since August.
Growth rates in first-tier cities were significantly higher compared to second- and third-tier cities. New home prices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen rose by an average 1.4 percent month on month while those in 35 third-tier cities rose by 0.6 percent on average, according to the data.
Liu Jianwei, a senior statistician with the NBS, attributed the higher growth rates in first-tier cities to a lower comparison base in the same period of last year.
Prices in 70 major and medium-sized cities dropped from a year earlier in September, according to the bureau's data.
The data cover the nation's large and medium-sized cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, provincial capitals, and other cities.
"The market is polarized, with excessive resources concentrated in first- and second-tier cities, and it's time to let the market play a better role to balance it," said Zhang Dawei, director of Centaline Property's research center.
Zhang added that the market is looking to policy changes that will be introduced in the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee to be held in November.
Runaway prices led the government to issue guidelines in March to tighten control of the real estate sector, including higher transaction taxes, restrictions on purchases of multiple homes and higher down payments.
But the guidelines failed to arrest the surge.
The government is likely to expand its property tax trials amid recent hikes in home prices in many cities, according to experts.
Government documents on reform have repeatedly touched upon the subject, further evidence that this approach is locked in, said Jia Kang, head of the fiscal science research institute under the Ministry of Finance.