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Despite Many Curbs, Home Prices Rise Again in China

“Chinese property prices rose at the fastest pace in more than two years in major cities, defying tougher government curbs and constraining the ability of policy makers to ease credit in response to weakening economic growth.

New home prices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou posted the biggest gains in May since at least January 2011, and 69 of the 70 cities tracked by the government showed increases, the most since August 2011, National Bureau of Statistics data showed today in Beijing. Inbound non-financial investment rose 0.3 percent in May from a year earlier, the weakest in four months, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

The property gains limit the ability of Premier Li Keqiang to counter an economic slowdown that showed signs of deepening in May. The central bank today refrained from adding cash to the financial system and money-market rates reached the highest level in seven years this month, a liquidity squeeze that Fitch Ratings says may accelerate a banking crisis.

“The government is in a dilemma right now,” said Zhang Zhiwei, Hong Kong-based chief China economist at Nomura Holdings Inc., who previously worked at the International Monetary Fund…..”

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