That compared with a 10.3 percent gain in the first four months of the year.
However, property sales picked up pace, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Sales measured by floor area grew 2.9 % in January-May from the same period a year earlier, up from 1.3 % in the first four months of the year.
New construction starts measured by floor area were up 10.8 percent in the period, compared with 7.3 percent in January-April, the NBS data showed.
Real estate is a key driver of economic growth in China but is expected to moderate as the government curbs excessive fund flows into property following a boom of more than two years.