China home prices have suggested a potential cooling-off in the housing sector at the start of this year.
Average new home prices in China’s 70 major cities rose 9.6% in January from one year ago, easing from December’s 9.9% increase.
This is the first slowdown in the rate of price increases in 14 months, since November 2012.
Home prices in top-tier cities Beijing and Shanghai also rose in January, but at a slower rate from December.
Property purchases remain a popular investment choice in China, and that kept prices rising in 2013.
But the momentum slowed down late last year, after the People’s Bank of China, the central bank, progressively tightened monetary conditions to rein in excessive lending growth.