More than half of Chinese major cities saw home price hikes in December on an annual and monthly basis, in a sign of increasing pressure for property prices.
Of the 70 major cities monitored, 40 saw property prices rise year-on-year, compared with 18 in November. But their average growth rate was capped at 2.4 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday.
On a month-on-month basis, 54 major cities saw prices rise, compared with 35 in November. Though their average growth rate was below 1.2 percent, the growth rate is higher than the 0.9 percent for the previous month.
A similar situation happened in the pre-owned home market, NBS data showed.
"Mainstream products in key cities will face huge price hike pressure in 2013, due to the supply-demand imbalance," said Liu Chunyan, executive director of real estate service provider World Union.
"We are expecting a big round of property transactions this year, and soaring prices are not unlikely, even considering the government's determination to control property prices," Liu added.