FILE PHOTO: People walk past residential buildings under construction in Beijing, China April 14, 2022. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

BEIJING, April 17 (Reuters) – New home prices in China rose in March at the fastest pace in 21 months, official data showed on Saturday, suggesting the market is emerging from stagnation amid strong recovery, although uncertainty remains as to the strength of the impulse.

China’s new home prices rose 0.5% month-on-month in March, after rising 0.3% in February, marking the fastest pace since June 2021 and the third monthly increase consecutively, according to Reuters calculations based on data from China’s national statistics. Desk.

Prices in annual terms recorded the smallest decline since June 2022, with a 0.8% drop in March after a 1.2% drop in February, the eleventh month of declines in annual terms.

“The house price index shows a stabilizing and recovering trend, which fully indicates that the overall housing sector has surpassed last year’s low,” said analyst Yan Yuejin. ‘E-house China Research and Development Institution, based in Shanghai.

Strong home sales in March fueled an improvement in home prices, Yan said.

China’s property sector, which accounts for about a quarter of the country’s economy, suffered a severe blow last year when a crackdown on property developers’ high debt levels led to a funding crunch that halted construction new projects. Some buyers boycotted mortgage payments, further weakening consumer confidence in a scenario of severe restrictions due to COVID-19.

Home sales have rebounded in major cities across the country over the past month as demand ebbed after the abrupt repeal of pandemic restrictions in December.

Of the 70 cities surveyed by the Office for National Statistics, 64 saw a rebound in new house prices on a monthly basis, the highest number of cities since May 2019 and up from 55 in February.

The rise in housing prices was widespread across all city levels, which extended their monthly increases.

However, analysts point out that it is still too early to tell whether the nascent real estate recovery will continue, due to the uncertainty surrounding consumer confidence.

China is due to release March property sales and investment data on Tuesday, as well as first-quarter economic activity and gross domestic product (GDP) data.

(1 dollar = 6.8690 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Liangping Gao, Qiaoyi Li and Ryan Woo; editing by Christian Schmollinger and Simon Cameron-Moore;

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