BEIJING  - More Chinese cities reported rises in new home prices in October than in September, data showed Sunday, the first gain in three months as the government works to keep the property market in check.

Prices in 35 out of 70 cities tracked by the government rose month-on-month, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement, up from 31 cities in September and the first increase since July.  Prices of new homes dropped in October in 17 cities and remained unchanged in the remaining 18 cities, it said.

China has implemented measures to control property prices for more than two years, including bans on buying second homes, raising minimum down-payments and levying property taxes in some cities.

Officials have said the measures are aimed at bringing down home prices to a "reasonable" level. China's slowing economy has recently showed signs of a turnaround, with exports, retail sales and industrial production data all showing renewed vigour.

Expansion in the world's second-largest economy slowed for seven straight quarters through the end of September, but economists are expecting growth to accelerate during the current three-month period through December.

Beijing expects gross domestic product to grow 7.5 percent in 2012, a marked slowdown from the 9.3 percent recorded in 2011 and 10.4 percent in 2010.

The government is aiming to rebalance the economy away from reliance on exports and more towards domestic demand in coming years, in hopes it can steer growth onto a stable and sustainable track.