China's new home prices drop in May in over 97% of major cities

Chinese government figures show prices of new homes declined in May from the previous month in more than 97 percent of major cities surveyed.

The National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday that new home prices fell in 68 of 70 major cities.

The number of cities that marked declines rose by four from the previous month.

Prices dropped by 1.4 percent in Guangzhou, 1.1 percent in Beijing and 0.8 percent in Shenzhen. The average for regional cities was down 0.8 percent.

Prices edged up month on month in two cities, Shanghai and Taiyuan in Shanxi Province.

The Chinese government has announced measures to shore up the market as the country's property slump continues to deepen.

One step is to have local governments purchase unsold homes, which may be used as housing for low-income families. Beijing is also relaxing regulations on housing loans.