House prices in major Chinese cities remained stable in December as local governments largely continued control of the housing market, official data showed Wednesday.
On a monthly basis, new house prices in 59 of the 70 major cities monitored by the government gained in December, down from 63 a month earlier, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.
Eight cities reported lower new house prices while three saw prices unchanged.
New house prices in four first-tier cities - Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou - rose 1.3 percent in December, up 1 percentage point from the previous month, while resold house prices in the four cities continued to drop last month, dipping 0.3 percent on average.
The property market in smaller cities showed signs of cooling in December with growth of house prices of 31 second-tier and 35 third-tier cities slowing.
NBS senior statistician Liu Jianwei said local governments kept differentiated real estate policies in December to maintain stable and sound development of China's property market.
Compared with a year ago, new house prices for 2018 in four first-tier cities edged up 0.5 percent on average, shrinking from the 10.1-percent gain during the same period a year earlier, the bureau said. Growth of resold house prices also saw a significant slowdown.
China's second-tier cities generally followed the trend while third-tier cities registered vigorous increases.