New home prices in China have risen in April despite the government's efforts to cool the sector with stringent property measures.
Out of the 70 cities monitored by China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), 67 cities recorded an increase in housing values in April. This compares with price rise in 68 cities in the previous month.
"The market expectations on rising home prices have not changed thoroughly and the property tightening campaign is still at a critical stage to strictly enforce (property measures)," Liu Jianwei, a senior statistician at the NBS, said in a statement.
Reuters' estimates based on official figures show that average home prices rose 4.9% annually in April, which compares with a 3.6% increase in March.
On a month-on-month basis, home prices rose 1% in April as against the rate of 1.2% recorded in March.
The sharp jump in prices was recorded in major Chinese cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
New home prices in Beijing rose 10.3% in April, while prices in Shanghai rose 8.5%. This compares with the annual growth rate of 8.6% and 6.4%, respectively, recorded in March.
The biggest yearly increase in house values of 14% was recorded in the southern business city of Guangzhou whereas the biggest fall was recorded in Wenzhou, 5.7%.
Meanwhile, existing home prices posted an annual growth of 11% in Beijing last month, 8.5% in Shanghai, 8.6% in Guangzhou and 7.3% in Shenzhen.
China has introduced stringent property measures that include higher down payments on second homes and 20% capital gains tax on existing homes.
The marginal decline in prices was seen as the reflection of recent curbs introduced by the government to control prices. Though the regional authorities have issued details of property curbs, as required by the government's plan, they are not being strictly enforced on the local level, according to analysts.
"Home prices continued to climb because the direct impact of the curbs is hitting on home sales, while it'll take several more months to slow the prices," Lan Shen, a Shanghai-based economist at Standard Chartered told Bloomberg.