Housing prices in southern China’s Guangdong province surged 20% year-on-year in the first six months of 2007, the Shanghai Securities News reported. Unit prices averaged US$735 (RMB5,557) per square meter in the province, according to figures released by the provincial statistics bureau. In Shenzhen, unit prices jumped 42.1% to US$1,743 (RMB13,178), while prices in the provincial capital Guangzhou surged 25.8% to US$1,025 (RMB7,743). Average housing prices across China’s 70 major cities rose 7.1% year-on-year in June. Last Saturday, China raised the one-year benchmark lending interest rate by 0.27 percentage points to 6.84% as part of ongoing efforts to dampen the property sector and cool the economy.

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