BEIJING, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- China's statistics agency is to stop releasing the average overall home prices for 70 major cities under a new survey method launched this year.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Wednesday claimed the new survey method would improve the reliability of its figures.
January housing prices in 70 major cities, scheduled for release Friday, would be the first under the new method, said a statement on the NBS website.
The statement said the overall average price change figure for the 70 major cities failed to reflect regional differences. Separate price indices would help governments and the public better understand house price changes in their cities.
The new scheme had also improved basic data sources and basic category standards, and added more fixed base price indices, said the statement.
For prices of new homes in 35 major cities, such as provincial-level capitals, the NBS would use contract prices recorded by the local government property regulation authorities as data sources instead of sample data, it said.
To reduce effects of "twin contracts" on second-hand homes -- commonly used to evade taxes by reporting lower prices to the local authorities -- the NBS would use figures from real estate brokers with a total turnover accounting for at least 75 percent of the local market, it added.
Homes sold commercially would fall into three categories under the new method: floor area of less than 90 square meters; between 90 and 144 square meters; and exceeding 144 square meters.
The newly-added fixed base price indices were designed to reflect long-term price changes, it said.