Rising house prices put China in a bind

|By:, SA News Editor

New home prices in China's four major cities rose at the fastest rate since January 2011 last month, again highlighting the economic dilemma that the government finds itself in.

Price jumped 20% on year in the southern business centers of Shenzhen and Guangzhou, 17% in Shanghai and 16% in Beijing. Overall, prices rose in 69 of the 70 cities that the government tracks.

On average, prices increased  8.19% vs 7.48% in August and 6.7% in July, the WSJ calculates.

"Home prices, especially in big cities, are a bit out of control," says economist Liu Li-Gang, adding that China faces a property bubble.

Another economist, Xu Gao, gives the flip side. "If home prices fall, the economy will certainly slump. The government is trying to find a balance," says Xu.

The Shanghai Composite is -1%.

ETFs - Stocks: FXI, GXC, PGJ, YAO, FCHI, PEK, CAF, YXI, XPP, FXP, MCHI, YINN, YANG, TCHI, CHXF, KFYP, HAO, ECNS. Bonds: DSUM, CHLC. Currency: CNY, CYB, FXCH