Chinese house prices continue to rise in August

A model of a luxury property development in Beijing Property is a popular investment choice in China

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China property prices continued to rise in August, despite government efforts to cool the market.

Prices for new homes rose in 69 of 70 major cities. It is the fourth month in a row prices have risen in all but one of China's biggest cities.

China has been trying to rein in property prices amid fears that asset bubbles may be forming in the country.

Analysts said the continued price rises could prompt authorities to take steps to reduce speculation in the market.

Zhang Zhiwei, an economist with Japanese bank Nomura, said that he expected the government to start "tightening monetary and property sector policies after the Communist Party meeting in November".

Chinese authorities have already implemented measures, such as higher transaction taxes and down payments, to try to cool demand for real estate.

However, property remains a popular choice among Chinese investors, and their purchases have continued to push prices up.

According to data from China's National Bureau of Statistics, new home prices in the capital Beijing rose 14.9% in August from a year earlier, while Shanghai's prices were up 15.4%.

Mr Zhang said China's new leadership, which took office in March, appeared to have tolerated rising property prices because of concerns about the strength of the economy.

About 25% of overall investment in China goes towards property, making it one of the country's most important growth sectors.

"Now that economic growth has rebounded and looks set to achieve the 7.5% target for 2013, we believe the government's priority may shift toward containing financial risks and property prices," Mr Zhang said.

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