The number of cities reporting a decline in home prices rose to 31 of 70 tracked cities in July, up from 26 of 70 in June, signaling that government property curbs are taking effect, MarketWatch reported. According to the data, released Thursday by the National Bureau of Statistics, Beijing and Shanghai were among markets that saw little change. Prices declined in 14 cities on a month-on-month basis, compared with 12 in June. So far, most of China’s real estate tightening measures have been introduced in larger cities. The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development on Wednesday said it would watch prices and transaction volumes to evaluate where home-purchasing restrictions should be imposed, as it targets the real estate market in second- and third-tier cities.